Stroke awareness defined at Hampton U. symposium

By Kayla Boone

Before you finish reading this article, two people will have already had a stroke.

A stroke happens every 40 seconds and every four minutes someone dies, according to the American Heart Association.

On Friday, March 18, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the Student Center, Hampton University spread awareness about this issue. The School of Science hosted a Stroke Awareness symposium that featuring guest speakers that included Dr. Yolanda Rainey, Dr. Wolfgang Leesch, Dr. Dorian Wilkerson, Willie Leftwich of Willie's Way Foundation and Marcus Fitch from the American Heart Association.

Rainey is an associate professor at Hampton University in the department of Physical Therapy. She has over 35 years of experience as a licensed physical therapist. She specializes in direct patient care, rehabilitation management and has over 15 years of experience in physical therapy education. Rainey along with the other speakers focused on t000he importance of being medically aware focusing on stroke awareness.

Strokes are the No. 5 cause of death and the leading cause of adult disability in the United States according to the National Stroke Association. A stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to the brain. They occur when the blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen to the brain are blocked. When this happens brain cells are robbed of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke muscles and memory controlled by that part of the brain are lost. The affect a stroke has on a person depends on where in the brain the stroke occurred and how much of the brain is damaged.

Each year approximately 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by identifying and responding to stroke risk factors.

The symposium was a part of the two-day, 38th Annual Black Family Conference, titled "Full STEAM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math] Ahead: Healthy Minds and Bodies Securing our Future."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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