Orange Popsicle WeekEvery year, hundreds of thousands of individuals experience the life-changing effects of a stroke. And about 10% of the approximately 800,000 strokes that happen in the U.S. every year strike adults younger than 45 years old. That’s what happened to one of our own, Amy of Aberdeen Village in Olathe, Kansas, when she was only 24 years old.

After countless of hours of therapy, Amy has recovered and has started an organization called National Orange Popsicle Week to help clinicians, patients, families and team members to become familiar with stroke symptoms. The name of the organization stems from when Amy was being treated in the hospital. When she could first speak again after her stroke, all she wanted was an orange popsicle. “We use the orange popsicle as a goofy way to talk about something seriously serious.”

Every year, National Orange Popsicle Week occurs in the month of May and has various activities to raise awareness of young stroke survivors and the importance of ongoing research in the field of stroke.

This year, RehabCare took part in National Orange Popsicle Week by giving away orange popsicles and informing our employees of the first signs of a stroke. The American Heart Association has an excellent and simple mnemonic device in “F.A.S.T.”

F - Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven?

A - Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

S - Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

T - Time to Call 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared

Thank you to everyone who participated in this wonderful event and to Amy for her dedication to raising awareness of such an important issue. Visit National Orange Popsicle Week on Facebook for more information.