SUMMIT, NJ — In honor of World Stroke Day, Overlook Medical Center and Atlantic Health Systems hosted an event on Monday, Oct. 30, to educate people on the risks of suffering a stroke as well as offering free health screening to individuals who attended.

Organized by Atlantic Health Stroke Coordinators Joy Eboras and Megan Ewing, participants heard from stroke survivors and had the opportunity to walk through a giant inflatable brain.

“Today is all about prevention,” said Eboras. “Eighty percent of strokes are preventable and in honor of world stroke day, we are offering free screenings.”

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Dr. Robert Felberg, MD, stroke neurologist and director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Overlook Medical Center, explained that over the past twenty years, stroke prevention and treatment has advanced significantly.

“Although most people think only elderly people are at risk, about one fourth of stroke victims are under the age of 50,” he said. “If a person thinks they are having a stroke and they get themselves to an emergency room quickly, there is a lot that can be done to reverse the damage.”

Dr. Felberg also stressed the importance of acting FAST which stands for stands for Facial drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulties and Time to call emergency services. By recognizing the signs of a stroke, individuals can receive proper care and can prevent permanent damage.

Barry Rogers, a stroke survivor from Westfield, said that he suffered a stroke at age 61, but was able to prevent any permanent damage due to the quick thinking of his wife and the treatment he received in the emergency room. Through a new technology called Telestroke, Rogers was able to have a video conference with a stroke specialist on the way to the hospital and was able to receive proper treatment once he arrived at the hospital.

Since suffering from a stroke, Rogers said his advice to patients is to go to the emergency room if you suspect a stroke.

“Don’t take the chance, don’t speculate, just call 911,” he said

He also encouraged anyone who has suffered a stroke to not only follow all their doctors instructions but to also take time to recover. 

Atlantic Neuroscience Institute's Stroke Center at Overlook Medical Center provides state-of-the-art medical care aimed at minimizing both the immediate and secondary brain damage from a stroke, while maximizing a patients' chance for full recovery. To find out more, click HERE