DOVER-FOXCROFT - Every 53 seconds, someone in America has a stroke. Stroke is the #3 killer in Maine, and is the leading cause of severe, long-term disability.
This May, during National Stroke Awareness Month, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is teaming up with area healthcare facilities to host an informational program for stroke survivors and their family members, as well as healthcare providers.
The annual Stroke Symposium takes place on Friday, May 10, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor and The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle. To receive a registration pamphlet, call the American Heart Association at 1-800-937-0944, or contact Cathy Murray in Mayo's Education Department at 564-4242. The cost to register is $10 for individual stroke survivor/caregiver, $15 for couples, and $35 for professionals.
The keynote speaker is Polly Gandy Perez, RN, stroke survivor and author of "Brain Attack: Danger, Chaos, Opportunity and Empowerment," a book about surviving stroke. Bobby Russell, WKIT 100.3 radio morning show host and manager of the Zone Corporation, which also includes stations WDME and WZON, will share his story of how having a stroke affected his life. Kathryn Bernier, manager of the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor, will talk on the benefits of exercise.
Registration for the Stroke Symposium will start at 10:30 a.m., and a Heart Healthy lunch will be served in Mayo's new Resource Center from 11-11:45 a.m. Perez, Russell and Bernier will then address participants in Dover-Foxcroft, Bangor, Bar Harbor and Presque Isle through a videoconferencing network until 2:45 p.m.
The Symposium's final hour at Mayo will include information on recognizing stroke's warning signs, managing secondary risk factors and accessing community resources for patients and caregivers. Mayo speakers will be Larry Labul, D.O., an internal medicine physician; Fran Moore, physical therapist and manager of Mayo's Rehabilitation Services Department; and Lisa Fortier, manager of Social Services.
A recent American Stroke Association survey disclosed that more than 40% of Americans cannot identify any signs or symptoms of stroke. The Association hopes to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of stroke and recognition that it is a 911 medical emergency.
Warning signs of stroke include sudden numbness or weakness in the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden confusion or trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and sudden severe headache with no known cause. Receiving treatment within three hours can greatly reduce the risk of permanent damage.
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