MANVILLE: Take time to check susceptibility to stroke

She remembers her day, a stroke victim

To the editor:
My dad’s name was Opie F. Brinson Jr. He often said his unusual name served him well in business because people never forgot it. But he was unforgettable for so many other reasons.
   He had four children (all girls), five grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and friend. He celebrated 50 years of marriage to his beloved bride, Frances, on Dec. 29, 2012.
   He served his country proudly in the United States Army and then became an entrepreneur, starting a very successful and award-winning business. Dad enjoyed fishing, playing poker, collecting baseball cards and spending time with his Cairn terrier Mackenzie (often referred to as the fifth daughter of our family).
   He was as tough as nails, but, if a friend had fallen on hard times, he would weep openly right along with them. His heart and compassion for others was limitless (even if well-hidden).
   Dad died this past March after suffering a major stroke. When I think of him now, I don’t know who I miss more: my dad or my friend. Because he was both.
   That’s why in the aftermath of World Stroke Day on Oct. 29, I am urge everyone to learn the warning signs of stroke by remembering F-A-S-T, which stands for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty and time to call 911. It’s also the perfect time to speak with your doctor to learn how you can reduce your risk of this deadly disease.
   According to the American Stroke Association, nearly 80 percent of strokes are preventable, if we just take steps to reduce our risk. Please take time today to learn about stroke, so that another daughter doesn’t have to miss her dad like I miss mine.
Tammy Latif
American Stroke Association volunteer