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Friend’s stroke awareness praised by consultant

A woman’s quick-thinking after spotting the signs of a stroke in her friend has been praised by the doctor who treated her.

Winifred Joyce Tew, known as Joyce, was returning home to Watton from a shopping trip to Norwich when her friend Joyce Fenn recognised the warning signs of a stroke.

Fortunately the next bus stop was the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and help was summoned. Mrs Tew was rushed to the Emergency Department where a CT head scan confirmed she had suffered a stroke.

Joyce Tew, pictured in the summer.

She was treated by Stroke Consultant Dr Kneale Metcalf for 16 days before she sadly died on 20 June.

However, Dr Metcalf praised the quick thinking of Mrs Fenn who gave her 95-year-old friend a chance of recovery: “The actions of Mrs Fenn were so critical in giving Mrs Tew a chance of recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical in Stroke Medicine. Sadly a favourable outcome wasn’t meant to be in this case. I’ll never forget how Mrs Fenn reacted and supported her friend.” 

The main symptoms of stroke can be remembered with the word FAST:

  • Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
  • Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
  • Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to take at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
  • Time – it’s time to dial 999 immediately if you see any of these signs or symptoms.

Mrs Tew’s daughter, Janet Walmsley, said: “My mother was on the bus with Joyce, showing her some family photos when Joyce noticed mum’s mouth had dropped and knew she was having a stroke – her husband and daughter had both had strokes so she knew straight away to get her to hospital.

“By the time I had reached her bedside it was evident that any prospect of recovery was bleak, although she staggered us by her ability to answer questions and still had her extraordinary sense of humour.

“We had all thought she would live to be 100, however that wasn’t to be, but she had a remarkably healthy 95 years of life, not taking any medication and living independently.”

Earlier this month, Janet raised £800 for the Stroke team, part of the N&N Hospitals Charity, from a puppy picnic party for her dog’s puppies as they went off to their new homes. Her family are all very grateful for the continuing support from friends.

Janet and Joyce returned to the NNUH to meet Dr Metcalf again and hand over the donations to the Stroke team who cared for their mum and friend.

More information about recognising the signs of a stroke is available here www.nhs.uk/conditions/stroke/

If you would like to support the hospital charity, contact fundraising@nnuh.nhs.uk or visit the charity website at nnuh.org.uk/

LynnFriend’s stroke awareness praised by consultant