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Throwing strikes to raise stroke awareness

The sounds of laughter and pins falling in the Main St. Lanes bowling alley Sunday afternoon marked the scene for the annual Strike Out Stroke event, sponsored by Centra Southside Community Hospital.

A large crowd of Centra employees and members of the community gathered to help raise awareness for the symptoms of stroke by knocking down pins and enjoying fellowship.

To view more photos of the event, click here.

According to Paula Romaine, the stroke coordinator at Centra Southside, common symptoms of stroke include the face drooping on one side, weakness, slurred speech and trouble keeping balance.

“Time is of the essence,” Romaine said.

“Our first ‘Strike Out Stroke’ bowling event was a great success,” said Centra Southside Marketing Director Kerry Mossler, who attended the event. “We had over 50 bowlers turn out and bowl for two hours. We had 15 teams participating. We hope to make this an annual event to raise awareness about strokes, along with our spring baseball ‘Strike Out Stroke’ event.”

Mossler said when you know the signs of stroke, “you could save someone’s life — maybe even your own.”

“Timely care after the onset of a stroke is paramount to the patient outcome,” said Tom Angelo, CEO of Centra Southside. “Therefore, stroke awareness is a powerful way for us to ‘strike out stroke.’”

He said when stroke patients come to Centra Southside’s Emergency Room within four hours of having a stroke, “we have the ability to get a clot-busting drug, which can greatly improve one’s ability to have a positive outcome.”

Romaine, who provided information from the American Stroke Association and other clinical sources, said stroke is the No. 5 cause of death and leading cause of disability in the U.S.

“About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke,” she offered. “That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds.”