AMC’s Stroke Support Group holds its third Christmas celebration

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Franklin High School’s and Macon Middle School’s Dance Team performed at the Christmas Celebration of Angel Medical’s stroke support group. Photo by Vickie Carpenter

The Stroke & Neurological Disorders Group celebrated their third annual Christmas Celebration on Dec. 5 at Angel Medical Center. Angel Medical Center Rehabilitation Department leads the group to provide support, resources, and education to community members that have suffered a stroke or neurological event or disease. They meet monthly from 3:30-4:30 p.m., in the cafeteria of Angel Medical Center. The purpose is to be able to provide a supportive and comfortable environment for people to be able to get together to share their experiences and also provide them with local resources for continued support and assistance. The group is supported by the community with monthly speakers who provide education on stroke and other neurological disorders and the way this impacts their daily life. Recent speakers include those from Long Center for Psychology, the Senior Center, Macon County EMS, North Carolina Assistive Tech Program, and Franklin Fitness Center. All of our speakers have dealt with effects of stroke or a neurological disorder either personally or professionally and are able to provide excellent knowledge and support to our group.

The rehab team that leads the Stroke Support Group consists of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy, and is the only comprehensive rehabilitative outpatient therapy group in Franklin. When someone suffers a stroke or neurological event/disease, a patient will often require all three therapies in order to gain independence and safety again. Several specially certified therapists including a Certified Hand Therapist and LSVT Certified Therapists for Parkinson’s disease are also available. The therapists are able to work with patients and families to improve their functioning, safety, and quality of life.

AMC is an acute stroke ready hospital that works hand in hand with Mission Hospital, a comprehensive stroke center. AMC can provide prompt treatment and has access to comprehensive treatment options at Mission. Onsite and telehealth resources are available 24/7 at both locations to better serve WNC.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S. On average, every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke. About 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke each year with 610,000 being a first time event. It is estimated each minute a stroke goes untreated, the patient loses potentially 1.9 million neurons and ages the brain by more than three weeks. It is very important to seek treatment immediately upon any unusual symptoms appearing.

AMC uses the BEFAST mnemonic to capture symptoms.

B- balance

E- eyes

F- Facial droop

A-Arm weakness

S- Speech difficulties

T- Time- call 911 at onset of symptoms

AMC is the only certified stroke hospital in western North Carolina west of Asheville.

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