A STROKE survivor who overcame a brush with death to inspire others and raise awareness about the symptoms says “it could happen to anyone”.

Mark Cadman, of Steward Green Road, Epping, was getting ready for work one morning two years ago when suddenly became blind in one eye.

The former management consultant walked downstairs in a haze of confusion before waking up to see his lounge filled with paramedics and his wife, Jeanette, standing over him. 

He was quickly ferried to Romford Hospital where he was given a life-saving injection to dissolve the blood clot.

Mr Cadman, now 52, said: “People don’t realise how important it is to get to the hospital quickly - I was lucky.”

The father-of-one, whose daughter, Emma, was 16 and doing her GCSEs when her dad had a stroke, wants to educate people about the FAST test: F– is it drooping to one side? Arms – can the arms move? S – can the patient smile? T – time. 

“My wife didn’t know about this when I was having my stroke – when she rang 999 she was surprised when the call handler told her it was probably a stroke,” he added.

“But it can affect people of all ages – it can happen to anyone. 50 isn’t actually that young to have a stroke and since then I’ve met teenagers who have had them, too.”

He has not yet been able to go back to work full time and although his eyesight has returned, he struggles with his mobility.

But he has turned his focus into helping other people with the disease and helps run a number of support groups.

He is joined by his friend, Anna Higgs, who had a stroke during childbirth at the age of 24. Harlow Stroke Support Group provides non-medical support, information and advice to survivors and their families.

They also run a support group in Epping Hospital twice a month.

Last week, the friends were on Phoenix Radio Harlow to discuss misconceptions about strokes. 

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