Raising voices to end stroke

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    Gospel all-stars to raise stroke awareness at Most Powerful Voices Christmas Concert and Health Expo

    Concert-goers are encouraged to join the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for an evening of inspirational praise with gospel all-stars Donald Lawrence and Company, BET “Sunday Best” season 6 winner Tasha Page-Lockhart, and some of Detroit’s best choirs at the Most Powerful Voices Christmas Concert and Health Expo on Saturday, Dec. 14, at Greater Grace Temple.

    “Stroke is a major health concern in the African-American community. It is the No. 4 cause of death for all Americans, however, Blacks have strokes twice as often as Whites and experience worse outcomes,” said Kristian Hurley, Health Equity regional director for the American Heart Association.

    “Those who attend the health expo will have the opportunity to get free health screenings, enjoy cooking and fitness demonstrations, and visit with community organizations that will arm attendees with the resources and information needed to embark on a healthier lifestyle, lowering their risk for stroke,” said Hurley.

    Suffering a stroke at 38, Dr. Latina Denson knows firsthand the importance of stroke prevention. Denson said she went to the hospital for a headache and nausea and suffered a stroke.

    “I didn’t think I had any of the symptoms because I was relatively young and healthy,” she said. “Simple things, such as walking and talking, are now daily challenges for me.”

    “Recognizing a stroke and calling 911 gives the patient a greater chance of getting to an appropriate hospital quickly and being assessed for lifesaving treatment like a clot-busting medication or interventional procedure, said Sunitha Santhakumar, M.D., director, Stroke Services, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak. “Just like we need to learn CPR to save someone’s, we need to learn how to spot a stroke and act fast for the best chance of a positive outcome.”

    “Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re exempt from suffering a stroke,” said Denson. “I encourage everyone to live a healthier lifestyle, get regular check-ups, and know the signs of a stroke.”

    “Most Powerful Voices is more than a concert. It is a call to action. We intend to educate the community regarding stroke and inform participants that that strokes are preventable,” said Hurley.

    The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association recommends the community remember the acronym F.A.S.T to help them to quickly identify the warning signs of a stroke.

    F — Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

    A – Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

    S — Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence like, “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

    T — Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

    For more information about the Most Powerful Voices Christmas Concert and Health Expo or to obtain free tickets visit heart.org/semi. Early arrival is strongly suggested.

    For more information about stroke, visit http://www.powertoendstroke.org.

    Editor’s Note: See the Most Powerful Voices advertisement in this edition for more details about the free event which begins with Health Expo at 5 pm, followed by the concert hosted by on-air radio personalities CoCo and Tracey McCaskill at 7 pm.

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