Knowing the signs and symptoms of stroke

Learn the signs and symptoms of a stroke.

John Navin is an avid biker. He's been an active, healthy person his whole life so you would never expect him to be the victim of a stroke. But that is exactly what happened 9 years ago while Navin was out on his bike. He had even run a marathon just a week before the incident.

"I actually fell in the middle of Front Street and I thought for sure I'd been hit by a car or I had a heart attack," Navin said.

Luckily Navin was only a few blocks from Munson Medical Center, where nurse specialists like Kathleen Glaza see around 400 stroke patients a year.

"There are two ways that it can happen: either you can have a blockage of a vessel that won't allow the blood to go through so then the tissue that's above it die or its when the vessel bursts," Glaza said.

Glaza says while there are several signs of a stroke the most common are related to F.A.S.T, which stands for Face, Arms, Statement, and Time.

As a stroke survivor, Navin says his recovery included re-learning his A-B-C's as well as how to walk but the biggest component of his success was the support from the people around him.

"You can't do it alone...that attitude and that caring is immense," Navin said.

Due to the extensive recovery process, Munson Medical Center started the Stroke Club as a support group for survivors. On May 8 that club will have been around for 30 years- 30 years of survivors and supporters helping each other through healing.

"It's so important to have the Stroke Club because those people have been through and they may have the same disability you have and they know what worked for them and what didn't," Glaza said.

The Grand Traverse Bay Area Stroke Club meets the second Wednesday of each month and offers survivors the opportunity to continue to improve and connect with one another.

For more information about the Stroke Club you can visit their website by clicking here.

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