IN a medical emergency time is of the essence.
So stroke patient Harry West wants to say a massive thank you to paramedics and hospital staff who treated him within 20 minutes of calling 999.
His wife Avril raised the alarm in the morning when Mr West said he lost feeling on the right-hand side of his body.
He was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, as soon as paramedics realised he had suffered from a stroke.
Mr West’s thanks to emergency staff comes in the same week the NHS reminds people to look out for signs of a stroke.
Mr West, of The Ridings, Hilsea, said: ‘At the end of January I woke up and couldn’t lift my arm or leg on the right side of my body.
‘I woke up and was very puzzled that I couldn’t move my limbs – it felt like they weighed a tonne.
‘My wife phoned for an ambulance and they were here within four minutes and by 20 minutes I was being treated in hospital.
‘That’s absolutely brilliant. I was taken to the stroke ward and it was just brilliant service from start to finish.
‘And I want to say thank you to everyone that helped me recover.’
QA is one of only six centres across four counties – Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Hampshire – that has a specialist stroke unit. Each year around 1,200 stroke patients are seen at the hospital.
Lead stroke consultant Dr David Jarrett said: ‘There have been changes in the past few years about how treatments are administered.
‘There are two types of strokes – one caused by haemorrhage and the other a blood clot.
‘The longer you leave it after a stroke then the more chances you have of brain problems developing and having a slower recovery.
‘Quite often people will experience speech problems or paralysis on the side of their body quite suddenly. If you see these symptoms, then call 999.’