Women unaware of stroke death risk says charity

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Last year, 35-year-old single mum Margaret Wilby was working part time at Wakefield College when she suffered a stroke.

One evening last February, after putting her seven-year-old twin boys to bed, Miss Wilby enjoyed a few glasses of wine .

When she lost the use of her left side, she thought she’d had too much to drink, but the following morning her sons found her collapsed behind the living room door. She had suffered a severe stroke.

Hospital staff told her she was lucky to be alive and she now has no right vision in both eyes and her memory has been affected.

Miss Wilby is now supporting a campaign by charity The Stroke Association to raise awareness of strokes in women.

The charity has released findings of a new poll which shows women believe a stroke could never happen to them .

Miss Wilby said: “Since my stroke I have to set an alarm to remember to pick my boys up for school. I also struggle with my speech and sometimes have trouble finding the words I want to say.

“My boys gave me something to fight for and I’m so proud of them for everything they do to support me. They’re still only nine but do a lot of for themselves at home, as well as for me.

“My eldest twin Ben has taken over being in charge of the house.

“The Stroke Association team referred them to Barnado’s Young Carers earlier this year and they are now getting the support they both need.”

The Stroke Association says women account for nearly two-thirds of stroke deaths and the condition is the third leading cause of death in women in the UK.

Julia MacLeod, the charity’s regional head of operations in Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “It’s extremely worrying that most women don’t even have stroke on their radar.

“We know that women’s stroke risk significantly increases as they get older, and one in five women will have a stroke in their lifetime.

“This should serve as a wake-up call to women of all ages to be aware and better informed about reducing their stroke risk.”