Know the signs: West Suffolk Hospital warns of strokes in younger people

West Suffolk Hospital, Bury.
West Suffolk Hospital, Bury.
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West Suffolk Hospital is urging people to seek urgent medical treatment if they experience any symptoms of stroke after treating 10 patients under the age of 50 in recent months.

Father-of-one Ricky Byam suffered a stroke in June at the age of 35 and is keen to raise awareness about them happening at any age.

He said: “The Thursday before my stroke, I felt a pain behind my eye and pins and needles down my left side but didn’t think too much of it as I am a young man who has always been fit and healthy.

“Four days later I slumped over on my way to work. Fortunately it was early morning so there wasn’t much traffic about – otherwise I could have killed myself or someone else.

“It was pretty scary as I couldn’t move my left arm or leg. I was in shock when I was told I’d had a stroke as you don’t hear much about them happening in young people.”

Dr Sajid Alam, consultant in stroke medicine, said up to eight per cent of patients are under the age of 50 and the FAST test - which advises people to get help if they experience problems with their face, arms or speech - does not cover all symptoms.

He said: “Other symptoms people should be aware of include a sudden changes to their vision, dizziness, unsteadiness, numbness or suddenly feeling drunk.

“Younger people may often experience milder symptoms which often clear up quite quickly, which is why they assume there is nothing wrong – but it is essential they seek medical help as they may have had a stroke without realising.”

Seeking medical help quickly increases a person’s chances of recovery and can reduce the likelihood of a more serious stroke in the future.