Purple People with Purpose

Now May has finally arrived, whether the sun is shining or the rain falling, keep it bright and cheery by helping turn May PURPLE and have fun whilst doing so. Stretch that imagination see if for the whole of May you can either, bake, drink, eat, plant, wear, draw, sew, knit or do something purple. Whilst having fun and surprising yourself with all the amazing things you can come up with, you will be helping spread the message and raising greater awareness of stroke.

Sadly still not enough is known or understood about stroke, a devastatingly huge life changing situation, which comes out of the blue, no build up, no warning. Suddenly the person hit by stroke AND their whole family have their lives ripped apart, changed forever.

The FAST campaign is now televised, displayed more widely in doctors’ surgeries and used by paramedics but sadly this is not enough. Only this week, whilst I was involved in the ‘FAST Forward into May’ event with the Stroke Association, I asked a group of people in the street, “Would they recognise the signs of a stroke”?

I was told they had already been asked that question and they swiftly dismissed me. As I turned away I heard one of them say, I’m sick of that FAST campaign, what does it mean anyway? This is so sad, as just a couple of minutes of their time could prove valuable, as sadly none of us know when we may need this knowledge to save a life.

Stroke is either fatal or can leave you with disabilities, we need to get the message out there and by doing so many strokes could be prevented, others recognised early and the person treated as soon as possible limiting lasting damage. So I ask again would you know if someone in the same room as you, especially a child was having a stroke.

If you were with someone in Accident & Emergency believing they had experienced signs of having a stroke, yet they were about to be discharged because: they are so young, or it’s probably due to drink or a bad migraine. Would you know enough to insist on an MRI scan rather than take them home?

Some important things to remember:

    • Three times more woman die from strokes than from breast cancer,
    • Symptoms can be different in woman than in men.
    • Many young people are misdiagnosed
    • Woman are more at risk during pregnancy, as oestrogen levels rise blood can thicken.
    • Children have strokes too, 50/80% of those who survive stroke are left with some neurological difficulty.

I have written my book to help survivors with money from the sale going to help raise awareness. Peter Coglan has written a book to help fellow survivors who experienced locked in syndrome. Kate Allatt has written books to help survivors and is also pushing the ROSIER scale for stroke assessment in young people in Accident & Emergency. I have attached a link below to ‘Fighting Strokes’, which explains this in more detail.


This all helps, but we need your help too, by having some simple PURPLE fun you could be saving lives too.This is why the Stroke Association ask if, for the Month of May which is ‘Stroke Awareness’ month, you can join them in making MAY PURPLE. Purple People with Purpose.


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