Alabama at High Risk for Strokes

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By Ellis Eskew

Juraldine Battle-Hodge is a local attorney and a stroke survivor.
She says it was a normal day at work 2 years ago when she experienced something strange.

 "I called 911. I knew something was wrong. I wasn't sure what was wrong but I knew something was wrong. Called 911 and at that point I realized that my speech had become slurred," said Battle-Hodge.


Fortunately, she was able to get medical attention right away and recovered quickly.
But that's not the case for many stroke victims.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, stroke kills almost 130 thousand Americans  each year... one in 19 deaths.

But in Alabama it is much higher.
The number one killer especially in women is heart disease.

But in Battle-Hodge's case.... She was overall healthy.

"No high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, didn't have any of that. So that was a big surprise. That's why its important to know what to do should something like that happen to you," said Battle-Hodge.

When dealing with someone having a stroke, Battle-Hodge says you need to remember the acronym FAST. Face drooping to the side, Arm or limb weakness, Slurred speech, Time to call 911.
Now she is active with the American Heart Association helping to bring awareness to others.

"We are doing so much to sound the bell on it because it is a silent killer. We can't be silent about it. We have to get out and talk about it," said Battle-Hodge.

According to the American Heart Association as of 2010, 4.6 percent of Alabamians had had a stroke compared to 2.9 percent in the U.S..

 

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