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Is this the world's first 'stroke selfie'?

Is this the world's first 'stroke selfie'?
By Chris Harris
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Doctors have praised a Canadian woman who took a video of herself having a mini-stroke.

Stacey Yepes, from Ontario, was driving when she began feeling unwell.

The 49-year-old pulled over and recorded her symptoms – a move which helped doctors diagnose her.

Two days earlier, in April, she had felt numbness in her face and had trouble speaking. But stroke tests were negative and doctors put it down to stress.

“It’s true that I hadn’t slept well the last few days and that I have a stressful job,” said Yepes, who works as a legal secretary. “But I was pretty sure that the symptoms I had experienced were due to a stroke.”

When the symptoms returned while she was at the wheel, she decided to take the unusual move of taking a ‘stroke selfie’.

“My tongue feels very numb,” she says in the recording.

“I don’t why this is happening to me,” she adds. “My hand is hard to lift up and touch something like my nose.”

Yepes then took the video to doctors for a second opinion. The recording was enough to diagnose that she had suffered a transient ischemic attack, more commonly referred to as a mini-stroke. She was admitted to a specialist stroke centre.

“In all my years treating stroke patients, we’ve never seen anyone tape themselves before,” said Dr Cheryl Jaigobin, stroke neurologist at the Toronto Western Hospital’s Krembil Neuroscience Centre, told CBC. “Her symptoms were compelling, and the fact she stopped and found a way to portray them in such a visual fashion, we were all touched by it.”

Mini-strokes are caused by blood clots and only differ from a full-blown episode in that they are temporary, according to Toronto’s University Health Network. They are sign that a full-blown stroke could happen.

Britain’s Stroke Association says facial or arm weakness and speech problems are signs someone is having a stroke.

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