Stroke forum to address community concerns

PORT LUDLOW — Two and a half weeks ago, Dotty Christensen was attending a Thursday night prayer meeting at the Door of Grace Church on Swansonville Road.

After listening to the Bible reading, she lowered her head to pray for those around her when she realized she was in need of more than prayer.

“Black things came over my eyes,” Christensen said. “I couldn’t see. I couldn’t talk.”

Christensen was fortunate — she was with people who realized she was having a stroke and called 9-1-1.

Now home from the hospital, she will bring a personal perspective to a community forum on a life-threatening event that is touches many people in retirement communities, and can be deadly for people who live alone.

“I know a woman who had a stroke and lay on the floor for three days,” Peggy Schafran says. “They didn’t find her until her son in New York called and couldn’t contact her.”

Forum coordinator

Schafran, a local healthcare activist, is coordinating the forum, which will feature Dr. Kyra Becker of Harborview Hospital’s Stroke Center.

Becker will discuss the three different kinds of stroke and how to prevent them by reducing risk factors.

But she will mainly focus on recognizing the five warning signs of an occurrence.

It’s information that Schafran hopes will reduce the number of her Port Ludlow neighbors who have fallen victim.

A FORUM ON stroke symptoms and prevention will be presented by Dr. Kyra Becker, co-director of Harborview Stroke Center, at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Bay Club, 120 Spinnaker Place, Port Ludlow.

Representatives of Harrison Hospital and Ed Wilkerson of the Port Ludlow Fire District also will take part in the forum.

Individual risk assessments will be available afterward for free.

Registration is encouraged; call Peggy Schafran, 360-437-9935.

Harrison Hospital is offering free stroke and vascular screening tests twice a year to people older than 60 who have at least one risk factor of stroke (smoking, high blood pressure, heart or lung problems, family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm).

The next test date will be Oct. 31 at Silverdale Harrison Hospital and is limited to 90 people. For an appointment, call 866-220-7283.

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