Margaret Thatcher and Stroke: Life-Saving Info

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Margaret Thatcher's death due to stroke brings new attention to this health issue, which is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Some of our bloggers have suffered a stroke themselves, or witnessed a family member go through a stroke. Here's what we can learn from their experiences:

Margaret Thatcher
Image: © Alpha/Globe Photos/ ZUMAPRESS.com

This post by Lady Bren has a great graphic about recognizing signs of stroke. She posted it for good reason: She suffered a stroke herself, and is grateful her husband knew what was happening.

Too many people suffer devastating disabilities because those around them were not aware they were having a stroke. The simple reality of my life is that because my husband loves Grey's Anatomy, he knew I was having a stroke. He learned the warning signs and got me help as quickly as possible.

In this post, Cristina Del Bueno describes how she didn't recognize signs of stroke in her mother:

I wasn’t familiar enough with the symptoms of a stroke to know that it was urgent to get medical help for my mother. I didn’t realize that she was smiling and the right side of her face wasn’t the same as her left. All I knew was that she was completely out of her mind and going downhill. Now that I’ve done the most basic of research, I’d recognize a stroke from miles away. It’s plainly obvious if you know what to look for. I’m posting my story in the hopes that others will read this and be able to react quickly if they are ever (and I hope you’re not) in this situation.

Strokes don't only affect the elderly. Here, Laura recounts how her son suffered from a pediatric stroke in utero before he was born:

We had never heard of pediatric stroke before this, believing it only affected the elderly. The truth is, stroke "occurs in about one of every 4,000 live births" and affects "11 per 100,000 children per year" from "birth to age 18." Of those who survive, "50% to 80% will have permanent neurological deficits" like those of my son. Terrifying, to say the least.

Another blogger, Anissa Mayhew, suffered a stroke a few years ago. In an interview with Rita Arens, Anissa points out how important the blogging community was in helping her cope during this crisis, particularly through the support they gave her husband Peter:

She wants to thank everyone for the support you gave Peter. She wrote, "They gave my husband lots of support. He didn't understand the blog world, and they wrapped him in friendship. It has been amazing to me. I loved being a blogger, but I had no idea that when I needed them, the bloggers would be the voices I needed to hear."

No one can control whether a health crisis like stroke will hit. But as these posts clearly point out, what we can do is learn to recognize the symptoms and recognize that the power of moral support can't be underestimated.

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