Know the signs of stroke

Jane Yakey

Anne Marie Tiernon/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - On the 13th of every month, Eyewitness News features a Checkup 13 report. The topic for May is strokes.

Stroke is an important issue for one Fishers couple. Milt Yakey is often outside, checking on plants in his tree farm. It's fortunate that he was inside nearby the day his wife had a stroke.

"I was out in the kitchen. Strokes are funny because you don't have much pain like a heart attack. There is no warning or anything. I was just doing what I was doing and then all of the sudden it was just kind of a relaxed feeling and I couldn't move my right side," said Jane Yakey.

"She didn't speak clearly and she just felt awful. Kind of droopy in the eyes, so within seconds I came over to this - know the warning signs of a stroke," said Milt. He was referring to a magnet on the couple's refrigerator.

"Signs of stroke - sudden numbness and weakness of the face, arm or legs, especially on one side of the body. I had that," she said.

Remember the word FAST: F is for facial expression. Is there asymmetry? A is for arms. Can the person move their arms evenly? S is for speech. Is it slurred? And T is for time. You must act fast if you suspect stroke.

"It's important to realize that stroke is an emergency. While that blood vessel is blocked, 1.9 brain cells per minute are dying. If we can open it up then we have a chance of minimizing the deficit," said a doctor at St. Vincent.

Milt called 911 and Jane got treatment quickly. Since then, she's worked to reduce her risk and raise awareness.

"I was aware of it but I was just not wanting to think it was going to happen to me," she said.

Learn about the factors that contribute to stroke, and how to prevent stroke.

Learn more about the signs of a stroke.

Back to Checkup 13 main page.