A guitarist is helping to raise awareness on the importance of men getting their blood pressure checked after shortly before going on stage.
Chris Rhoades, from Bexhill, shared his story as The Stroke Association released new research revealing more than half – 53 per cent – of men in the South East are unaware of what their blood pressure should be.
High blood pressure contributes to more than half of all strokes.
“I would encourage everyone to monitor their blood pressure and have regular checks, I was too late getting mine checked out and sadly, went on to have a stroke because of it,” said the management information specialist.
The 47-year-old guitarist was getting ready for a gig with his band, Dirty Scarlet, when he first began to notice the symptoms of numbness in his left hand.
He went to get a drink of water before noticing something was not right with his mouth and his leg began to feel heavy.
Chris was later taken to the Conquest Hospital, Hastings, where he had an MRI scan confirming the stroke.
He was in hospital for seven weeks and lost movement in the left side of his body.
Working hard on his rehabilitation, Chris said: “I have always led a very fit and healthy lifestyle and never thought I’d have a stroke.
“I now put most of my time in helping local stroke survivors to help conquer this horrible condition, I would have never thought to get my blood pressure checked before my stroke but I hope that through more awareness more people will think twice about their health.”
The Stroke Association estimates up to 6.8 million people in the UK have undiagnosed high blood pressure.
High blood pressure is a contributing factor to 54 per cent of strokes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland but The Stroke Association aims to fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke.
In 2014 alone, more than 16,000 men in the UK died of stroke.
The ideal blood pressure for men is (120/80mmHg) according to the Stroke Association.
For more information on the local Stroke Support UK group, visit www.strokesupport-uk.com/contact.html.
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