'Young people are dying due to dangerous assumptions' - stroke victim warns there needs to be greater awareness
PUBLISHED: 11:18 31 May 2018
A woman from Norfolk has said that young people are dying because "dangerous assumptions" are being made about strokes.
Luna Jarvis, 20, from Weasenham, near Fakenham, suffered seven strokes after a night out but was told by university staff and paramedics that it couldn’t have been a stroke because she was too young and “probably drunk”.
She only received an accurate diagnosis after undergoing several tests and she was so surprised by the result that she took to YouTube to tell her story and raise awareness.
“I had absolutely no idea young people could get strokes,” said Miss Jarvis.
“Even throughout the day of my stroke, even as I was being taken to the stroke unit I wondered why they were taking me there as I wasn’t old.
“After making the video I have been contacted by so many young people who were also believed to be drunk and that’s appalling to me. Dangerous assumptions are killing young people and that absolutely has to change.”
The video has been watched by more than 4,000 people and been praised by the Stroke Association.
Sara Betsworth, head of stroke support at the organisation, said: “We think that Luna is incredibly brave for sharing her story. Over the past week Luna’s story has not only encouraged many people to speak out about their own stroke experience, but to understand more about strokes.
“Many people think that strokes only happen to older people but stroke can strike anyone at any time. While most people who have a stroke are older, younger people can have strokes too, including children. One in four strokes in the UK happens to people of working age.”
Miss Jarvis is now working on a second YouTube video and says that this time she will focus on living with the effects of a stroke.
Speaking of how it affected her, she said: “I can eat, shower and write now which I couldn’t do at the start.
“I am entirely numb on the left side of my body but I’ve learnt to move it again in such a way where you can’t really tell, 20pc of my brain has died and the things that could do I can’t do anymore such as understanding some speech, saying the right words, feeling temperature and memory issues.”
She went on to praise her friends and family, calling them “amazing” and said her best friend Louie “literally saved my life when the stroke happened”.
Reocgnising if someone is having a stroke
There are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year, which is the equivalent to almost one every five minutes. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of a stroke.
If you think someone is having a stroke the Stroke Association recommends you use the FAST test to recognise the signs:
FACIAL weakness: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
ARM weakness: Can the person raise both arms?
SPEECH problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
TIME to call 999.