Last Saturday, two-time stroke survivor and Newport Beach resident
Michelle Wulfestieg, 32, threw out the first pitch at Angel’s Stadium as
part of the “Strike Out Stroke Day,” a partnership between the Angels
and Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian intended to raise awareness
about the signs of stroke and the urgency of treatment.
Wulfestieg is Executive Director of Southern California Hospice
Foundation, and recently co-founded a motivational speaking tour and
community education initiative called Live Life After Stroke (LLAS),
which is an affiliate of the Hospice Foundation.
During the Angels vs. Astros game, leaders from Hoag, St. Joseph
Health, Angels Baseball, Genetech and the Retreat and Refresh Stroke
Camp were on hand to educate the public about the symptoms of stroke and the urgency of treatment.
The Retreat and Refresh Stroke Camp developed Strike Out Stroke Day
as a way to partner with Major and Minor league baseball to promote
and recovery. By bringing stroke education to a wide and engaged
audience, Strike Out Stroke is able to reach a large and diverse
audience about the warning signs of stroke, known by the acronym FAST.
“FAST stands for face, arm, speech and time. If you suspect someone
is having a stroke, ask them to smile; if one side of their face droops,
that’s a sign of stroke. Similarly, if they try to lift both arms, but
one drifts downwards, that’s another sign. Slurred speech can also be a
symptom. If you observe any of these signs, call 911 immediately. Time
is essential to limiting or reversing the impact of stroke,” said David
Brown, M.D., Program Director of Hoag Stroke Program.
Major League Baseball has seen its share of strokes. In 1980, for
instance, Houston Astros player J.R. Richard suffered a stroke and
collapsed while playing a game of catch before a game. He was rushed to
the hospital for emergency surgery to remove a life-threatening blood
clot in his neck and survived, but his Major League career ended.
To view the original Newport Beach Independent article, please click here.