BLACKPOOL FC’s No.1 Matt Gilks has joined goalkeepers from clubs across the region to promote the FAST stroke awareness campaign.
Gilks has signed up to the Stroke Saver campaign which is advancing the message that a stroke is a medical emergency and people should think FAST and call 999.
The campaign is also designed to encourage as many people as possible how to spot the signs of stroke and help save a life.
He said: “More than 4,000 people in Lancashire and Cumbria have a stroke every year and, contrary to popular myth, a stroke is not something which only happens to older people.
“It is essential people recognise a stroke when it’s happening and take prompt action.
“Delay increases risk of death or major long-term disabilities, such as paralysis, severe memory loss and communication problems. It is vital symptoms are not ignored.
“I am delighted to back this campaign and hope Blackpool fans do their bit to become Stroke Savers.”
FAST – which stands for Face, Arm, Speech and Time to call 999 – aims to make people aware of the signs of stroke.
>> F stands for FACE. Can the person smile normally? Does their mouth droop?
>> A is for ARM. Can they lift both arms normally?
>> S is for SPEECH. Can they speak clearly?
>> T is for TIME. The time to call 999 is if any of these signs are present.
Stroke is the third biggest killer in Britain after heart disease and cancer, claiming the lives of one in eight women and one in 10 men.
Mark O’Donnell, stroke consultant at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “The FAST campaign is designed to make members of the public react as quickly as possible.
“Rapid treatment can make a huge difference to the odds of surviving or being left with some form of long-term disability.”
Reaching hospital quickly means receiving early assessment and treatment, such as thrombolysis, which can prevent further damage.