Raising awareness of stroke on World Stroke Day

World Stroke day

On World Stroke Day 2018, our staff were out and about raising awareness of this important cause as part of the global awareness day.

World Stroke Day aims to emphasise the serious nature and high rates of stroke, raise awareness of the prevention and treatment of the condition, and ensure better care and support for survivors.

The cause is very close to the hearts of married couple, Sharon and Shaun Dickinson. Back in March 2017, Shaun started to experience some dizzy spells and attended the doctors for an ECG (electrocardiogram) to establish the cause of these through monitoring heart activity. When Shaun returned to discuss the results, he took a turn for the worse, resulting in him being sent to Royal Preston Hospital.

Sharon said: “Without the medical attention that my husband received that day from staff at Preston Hospital, he would not be alive today. When we arrived at Preston Hospital, I was introduced to Anu Thomas, Stroke Specialist Nurse, who explained everything that they suspected was going on and that my husband may have had a stroke. Anu gave Shaun a clot busting injection and explained that if there was a blockage then this would hopefully disperse the clot and that it’s vital that this medication is given within a certain amount of time.”

“Whilst Shaun was being treated, I called his children to explain that their dad was very poorly and that the odds were against him. I was basically watching my husband die before my eyes at this point.”

World Stroke day “Anu then introduced me to Dr Sulaiman Sultan, Stroke Consultant, who ensured that a CT scan and MRI scan happened quickly, and confirmed that Shaun was indeed having a stroke. It was then confirmed that Shaun had a blood clot in the artery to the rear of his skull, which was quite large and resulted in him being sent straight into theatres.”

“On arriving at the neuro theatre, Anu introduced me to Dr Siddhartha Wuppalapati, Neurologist, who explained to me what was going to happen. The operation went ahead and Dr Siddhartha and Dr Hemant Sonwalkar did the surgery by removing the clots which had blocked the artery and narrowed with time. They then widened the artery making sure that good blood supply was going to Shaun’s brain who by this point was in an induced coma.”

“Shaun has gone on to make good progress whilst he recovers. Shaun that day suffered a catastrophic stroke and without the staff I have named and the service being available then for sure Shaun wouldn’t be here. Shaun has indicated that when he feels better he will shake the hands of the staff that certainly saved his life that day. Once again thank you all at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.”

Anu Thomas, Lead Stroke Specialist Nurse, said: “A stroke is a serious life-threatening medical condition that needs urgent treatment to reduce the damage that is likely to happen. We are so pleased that we were able to help Mr and Mrs Dickinson, and that Mr Dickinson is making a good recovery.”

If you suspect that you or someone else is having a stroke, phone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance. The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word F.A.S.T.:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake.
  • Time – it's time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.


‚ÄčIf you think you are having a stroke dial 999 immediately.

Our Stroke Service ensures immediate and ongoing treatment is available to people who suffer from a stroke.  Telestroke enables experienced stroke specialists to diagnose and provide advice about the treatment of stroke whichever hospital you attend across Lancashire.  Thrombolysis (clot busting) treatment is available, and our emergency TIA (mini-stroke) clinic and dedicated stroke ward at Royal Preston Hospital, together with stroke rehabilitation service at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital, ensures that if you have a stroke you will receive the right treatment as quickly as possible, and ongoing support to enable you to regain your independence and good health when you recover.

The  stroke team includes specialist consultants and clinical nurse specialists, who work with physiotherapists and occupational therapists in stroke rehabilitation.