We all think of stroke as something that people will recognize as soon as it starts to happen but that incorrect. Stroke is called the Silent Killer for a reason. It is something that can hit at any age. Whether in tip top shape or a junk food addict, strokes happen. Stroke: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment Here are a few stories: The Elderly Gentleman sitting in the pew in front of me at church. He seemed to nod off but when he started drooling and his wife could not wake him, paramedics were called. He had a stroke. My Father in his early 60’s. He kept complaining that his arm hurt. He couldn’t remember how he hurt it. By the end of the evening his whole arm hurt, he kept moving it around trying to work out the pain. He kept saying it was just a sprain or something. Next morning he couldn’t move. He had a stroke. A 21 year old girl. She had been having medical issues. She woke up with a numb arm. Thinking she may have slept on it tried to get ready, by the time her roommates got her to the clinic, she was slurring her words and having trouble walking. The nurse said she was just anxious but the doctor recognized the signs. I was having a stroke. The signs of stroke were there with all the stories above but many people think they hurt their arm or are just not feeling right and the people around them were not reading the signs. Please note, these symptoms can develop over hours or days. The acronym B. E. F.A.S.T. is a way to remember the signs of stroke, and can help identify the onset of stroke more quickly: Balance- Sudden loss of balance and coordination Eyes- Sudden double or blurred vision Face drooping - if the person tries to smile does one side of the face droop? Arm weakness - if the person tries to raise both their arms does one arm drift downward? Speech difficulty - if the person tries to repeat a simple phrase is their speech slurred or strange? Time to call 911 - if any of these signs are observed, contact the emergency services. Also another sign is a sudden, severe headache which may also include vomiting. Please memorize these signs of stroke. I am sure many here have family, friends or themselves that have experienced a stroke. The faster the signs are recognized the quicker they can get to help. This is something that was taught in my First Aid class. They stressed B.E.F.A.S.T. One can also have a ministroke, also known as transient ischemic attack (TIA), symptoms are temporary and usually improve within one or two hours. In this case, you may blame sudden symptoms on stress, a migraine, or nerve problems. If you or someone you know has these symptoms but they disappear, please call the doctor. A ministroke can lead up to the real thing.