Monday, April 30, 2007


Dozier was not particularly impressive. He was rather sort and stocky and looked like an accountant, which he was during the daytime. Not particularly handsome or muscular, he did have a quiet charm and a strong demeanor. You could feel his presence when he walked into the room. In the nightclub, he was the “cooler”.

It took three nightclub bouncers to throw the kid into the street. After being warned several times the jerk had finally grossly and inappropriately put his hands on one of our waitresses. We were not allowed to “punish” just control or eject. Outside he began to rant and rave. He blocked the club entrance and hassled people as they tried to enter.

Dozier went to the door and said softly, “Son, your night here is over. I suggest you go home before you get hurt.” The kid made his final mistake of the evening. He got up in Dozier’s face and shouted, “And what are you going to do if I don’t, old man?” I never saw the punch. The next thing I knew the kid flew three feet backward. He landed on his butt and his eyes rolled back in his head. At first I thought he was dead but slowly, groggily he tried to stand up. Two of his smarter friends offered to take him home. I turned to Dozier and said, “Damn, Doz I am glad you are on my side.”

The next time I saw my friend Dozier he had lost half his body weight. He shuffled along barely able to walk and his left hand was withered and curled. His speech was slurred and there was a constant drool at the corner of his mouth. He could not hold a job and needed to be cared for by a nurse. Dozier had had a stroke. He had a blood vessel burst and damage his brain. He was a hollow empty shell waiting to die.

Stroke is an equal opportunity destroyer / killer. Men, women and even children can all have a life altering stroke. It can not only destroy you; it can impact all those who love you. You owe it to yourself and those you love to learn how to avoid stroke and how to treat it. There is not enough space in my column to cover everything you need to know. ( this last one has a way to measure your stroke risk)

A stroke can not always be easily detected. It may just feel like a momentary spell of dizziness. Rapid and early detection is critical to survival and recovery. When doctors talk about stroke they say, “Time loss is brain loss.” How do you detect a stroke?

STROKE IDENTIFICATION: A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke. He said the trick was getting a stroke patient recognized, diagnosed, and to medical care within that time frame.

STROKE: The First Three Letters... S.T.R.
S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK to repeat a simple sentence.
R * Ask him or her to RAISE both arms .

NOTE : Another 'sign' of a stroke is : Ask the person to 'stick' out their tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other that is also an indication of a possible stroke.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, go to the hospital immediately. Describe the symptoms to the doctor.

Be an Everyday Hero, teach this to friends, family and neighbors. The life you save could even be YOURS.

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