Letter from Don Steinfeld

Dear Editor,

The Santa Clara City Council proclaimed May, 2012, as Stroke Awareness Month and I commend them for doing so. As a 35 year old resident of Santa Clara who suffered a stroke 4 years ago at age 31, I want to tell your readers about how important it is to recognize the signs and symptoms of stroke. Stroke can hit anyone at any time—but there can be warning signs: including but not limited to sudden, severe headache; sudden weakness on one side of the body; and sudden difficulty talking or understanding words are a few symptoms that could indicate stroke. Remember, stroke is a medical emergency, and time is of the essence. It’s important to call 9-1-1 quickly and not drive yourself to the hospital. Our local hospitals are certified stroke centers and emergency services can ensure that a stroke patient is admitted immediately. All of these steps can save lives and greatly reduce disability after a stroke.