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STROKE: ‘I never thought it would happen to me’

Quick action saved Debbie Pearce’s life. Find out how to spot the signs of stroke – and how you can cut your risk

As she sat at her desk, Debbie Pearce felt worse for wear. It was 9am and at first she assumed she’d overindulged while celebrating her daughter’s birthday the night before. Yet Debbie, an administrator from Devon, began to sense that something was wrong – she’d had a strange sensation down her left side since getting up in the night with an urgent need for the loo.

‘Then I picked up a pen and what I wrote didn’t look like my handwriting,’ she recalls. ‘I’m a trained first aider so I knew what the signs were pointing to. I said to my colleague, “I’m too young to have a stroke, aren’t I?”.’ Debbie’s workmate wasn’t convinced and insisted on driving the 49-year-old to hospital. During the journey, a terrified Debbie wanted to speak, but the words wouldn’t come…

The mum of three was one of 152,000 people in the UK – more than 82,000 of them women – who experience stroke each year. This is when the blood supply to part of your brain is cut off, usually due to a blood clot, which damages or kills the cells. The effects will depend on where in the brain this happens, and can range from inhibiting how your body works to changing how you think.

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July’s Slimming World magazine is the ultimate motivation issue! Be inspired by four super slimmers who feel 10 years younger since losing more than 21st between them, then get your own slimdown started with our 7-day eating plan. Stuck in a recipe rut? Shake things up with our lightened-up Italian classics and clever iced desserts. And discover how both mindfulness and music could bring something new to your weight-loss campaign. We’re here to help you freshen up your focus and achieve your weight-loss dreams.
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