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After former Montreal mayor suffers stroke, a reminder to know the signs

On Monday, former Montreal mayor Denis Coderre revealed he'd suffered a mild stroke.

In a Facebook message, he said he was experiencing warning signs and got himself to the hospital.

The Heart & Stroke Foundation wants everyone to know those signs.

Coderre posted that he experienced speech difficulties and felt numbness on his left side.

"Everytime you have a sign of stroke, it's important to call 9-1-1 and Denis Coderre did the right thing to get to the hospital," said Francine Forget Marin of the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Stroke happens when blood stops flowing to a part of the brain or bleeding occurs in the brain, damaging brain cells.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation uses "F.A.S.T." as a reminder of what stroke symptoms look like.

Forget Marin explains:

  • F is for face: is it drooping?
  • A for arms: can you raise them both?
  • S is for speech: slurred speech, speech is jumbled.
  • T is for time: call 9-1-1.

Stroke is a medical emergency and acting quickly can improve the chances of survival, said Forget Marin.

According to the foundation, stroke is on the rise in Canada due to the aging population. Currently 878,000 Canadians are living with stroke. Stroke is a leading cause of adult disability and the third-leading cause of death in Canada. Risk factors include high blood pressure; unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.

Recognizing the signs of stroke and acting quickly can mean the difference between life and death, or the difference between a full recovery and a lasting disability.

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