I'd be dead if my husband hadn't dialled 999 after I suffered CRAMP in my leg | The Sun

A WOMAN who woke up to an intense leg cramp said she 'wouldn’t be here today' if her hadn't acted fast to call 999.

Carol Wilson had just returned from a week off in Cornwall when she was jolted awake by severe pain in her left leg in June 2021.

When she tried to roll over, Carol fell out of bed, according to NHS England.

She also became aware that she had terrible headache and that her vision was blurred.

Carol called out for her husband Paul – when she realised she couldn't move her limbs, she told him: "I think I’m having a stroke".

Strokes can be life-threatening and occur when blood supply to the brain is cut off. In most cases, this is due to a blood clot, which is called an ischaemic stroke.

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Paul rang for an ambulance immediately, which arrived within minutes and transported Carol to hospital.

There, Carol underwent a thrombectomy, which involves a blood clot in an artery being surgically removed to restore blood flow to the brain.

Within seconds of surgeons removing the blood clot, Carol could see again and she regained feeling in her limbs.

She made a swift recovery, able to have a cup of tea that very afternoon. Carol was able to return home just two days later.

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She said: “If it wasn’t for my husband, Paul, dialling 999 when he did, I wouldn’t be here today living the life that I am."

Now Carol is dedicated to spreading awareness on what a stroke can look like and she urged anyone who spotted these signs to dial 999 straight away.

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you're saying to them.
  • Time – it's time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

"Being aware of Act F.A.S.T.  and the signs of a stroke could save someone’s life," Carol said.

Thanks to her husband’s actions, Carol was able to celebrate her 50th birthday with a trip of a lifetime, travelling to France and Spain in their camper van.

The couple have since celebrated their 20-year wedding anniversary, but they've been together for 30 years.

Carel went on: "Thanks to my husband, I’ve been able to experience some incredible memories, from being able to spend time with my two grandsons, being by my daughter’s side for the birth of our second grandchild, and travelling around Europe in our camper van for my 50th birthday. Fittingly, we also celebrated our 20-year anniversary last year!”

Symptoms of a stroke

You can use the FAST method – which stands for Face, Arms, Speech, Time – to identify is someone is having a stroke.

Other stroke symptoms include:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body
  • difficulty finding words
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of sight
  • sudden confusion, dizziness or unsteadiness
  • a sudden and severe headache
  • difficulty understanding what others are saying
  • difficulty swallowing

If any of these symptoms occur for less than a few hours, you could be suffering from a transient ischaemic attack (TIA).

This attack, which is sometimes known as a "mini-stroke", indicates that there is a problem with the blood supply to your brain.

It’s important to contact your GP or local hospital if experiencing these symptoms, as they could increase your risk of stroke in the near future.

Ischaemic stroke, the most common form of the condition, occurs when a blood clot prevents the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain.

This is typically caused by arteries becoming narrower over time.

A haemorrhagic stroke is caused by bleeding in or around the brain, when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain bursts.

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