Danger of stroke highlighted at Holyoke event

May is American Stroke Month

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 700,000 Americans will suffer a stroke at some point this year, and about 162,000 of them will die from it. To alert people of the risk of stroke, and to prevent it from happening, May has been declared American Stroke Month.

200 survivors and their caregivers gathered Wednesday at the Log Cabin in Holyoke for further insight into the dreaded illness Edward Dufresne of Granby and Martha Tovar feel fortunate, they fully recovered, but they learned from their debilitating illness.

“You have to be aware all the time when it’s going to come, when you’re going to suffer from it,” Tovar, a Holyoke resident, said.

“There was no problem at all. Used to have to hold on to the car for a while, but I’m all set now,” Dufresne said.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel in the brain becomes clogged or bursts. Depending on the severity of a stroke, a patient can lose the ability to speak, walk, or even move their arms. It is the number one cause of paralysis in the United States.

Getting help quickly is essential for stroke victims.

“If you get to a hospital as soon as possible, we can reverse the effects of a stroke,” said Dr. Angela Smith, Director of Stroke Services at Holyoke Medical Center.

You may be susceptible to stroke if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, though other stroke sufferers did not exhibit any of the warning signs. To learn more about how to prevent stroke, visit the American Stroke Association’s website.