A few days ago, Darky, a labrador and collie mix, became a hero. Darky was on a walk with his owner Arthur McGarvey along the fields near their home when Mr. McGarvey collapsed. Darky didn’t lose any time – he ran to the road, barking and prompting drivers to come investigate.
Darky’s strange behavior made motorists pull over, and the persons who stopped quickly spotted the man on the ground. Without Darky no one would have seen Mr. McGarvey, but now the passers by could call for help, and keep him warm until paramedics arrived.
Doctors say Darky’s quick response, getting help in the minutes immediately following the stroke, might have saved Arthur’s life and definitely boosted his chances to make a full recovery. The quicker help and necessary medications are given after a stroke, the better the chances of recovery.
Most people who suffer a stroke have less evident symptoms than Mr. McGarvey. If you think that you or someone close to you has a stroke, call 911 immediately. Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared – this is important for correct treatment. Common signs include:
- Face drooping. Ask the person to smile and see if the smile is uneven.
- Numbness or weakness of a leg, arm, or face. Ask the person to raise both arms and observe if one arm drifts downward.
- Speech difficulty. Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.
- Sudden confusion or trouble understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one of both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, loss of balance, loss of coordination, or dizziness.
- Sudden and severe headache without known cause