Yes, I know that's tomorrow, but what's the point of blogging on the day, if you really want people to do or think about something? Isn't that a little late?
So here's the thing, someone I love very much, a friend, had a stroke about ten years ago, long before I met him. Having a stroke cost him a lot, including his profession, but from what I understand and can see for myself, he made a pretty terrific recovery. He was pretty young when it happened - think early fifties here. Nevertheless, unless someone knows what to look for or asks the right questions, they would never guess what had happened. I think it would be disrespectful to the long process he's gone through to achieve this level of recovery to call him lucky, but in some ways, yes, he is one of the lucky ones.
1 in 6 people will have a stroke in their lifetime. (http://www.worldstrokecampaign.org)
Number of adults who ever had a stroke: 6.2 million (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/stroke.htm)
Cause of death rank: 4 (multiple sources)
Stroke was the second most frequent cause of death worldwide in 2008. (World Health Organization)
In the United States stroke is a leading cause of disability. (Wikipedia; article)
Someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. Every four minutes, someone dies of stroke. (http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_stroke.htm)
So in the time I've spent writing this post, at least 30 people have had a stroke and 5 have died.
If I see my friend this week, I fully intend to hug him, which will no doubt be the most awkward thing I do for quite some time, and tell him how grateful I am for his recovery and his life.
I seldom make recommendations regarding individual action, although I have no problem trying to rewrite society in general to suit my fancy, but in this instance, I urge all of you to learn the warning signs of a stroke and to educate yourself about prevention.