A BURY man who survived a stroke is urging people to learn how to spot the warning signs of the condition in order to save a life.

While working from home on December 11, David Hiscott, aged 48, from Greenmount, began experiencing a dull headache, which he thought was unusual.

After taking painkillers, the father of two started writing an email, but soon realised it made no sense.

He then noticed the left side of his body was not working, his speech was slurred and he felt ‘very cold’.

Luckily, Mr Hiscott recognised them as symptoms of a stroke and called his wife Emma, a nurse, who phoned an ambulance immediately.

After being taken to Fairfield Hospital, he quickly had a CT scan and was taken straight to the stroke ward.

Fortunately, he recovered well and was able to spend Christmas Day at home with his family.

But the stroke has since left him with weakness on the left side of his body.

Mr Hiscott, who works as a sales director for Digital Care, an international mobile phone insurance company, said: “Initially I was completely paralysed down my left side; I had zero balance and no feeling at all.

“After three days I was doing leg raises in my bed and fortunately have made good progress since. However, my hand is only just starting to make very small movements again.

“I’ve been lucky to have great support from my family and friends. My family is very close, and my daughters Freya, aged 11, and Anya, aged 8, have been remarkably strong. All our friends have been extremely supportive.

“I think stroke is hugely misunderstood, and don’t think people realise how long the recovery process is.

“People often assume that once you’re discharged and return home, you are nearly there, whereas in fact it’s only just the start of the long journey to recovery.”

A non-smoker, who ate healthily and exercised almost every day, Mr Hiscott does not seem to fill the bill as a stroke victim.

However, there are more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year with around a quarter happening in people of working age.

Last year, Fairfield's specialist Primary Stroke Unit was rated as the best in England.

The Stroke Association is raising awareness of the signs of stroke, calling on people to learn the symptoms, and call 999 as soon as they spot them.

The FAST test helps people recognise the most common symptoms of a stroke and the right action to take:

• FACE: Can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?

• ARMS: Can they raise both arms?

• SPEECH: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?

• TIME to call 999

Chris Larkin, Zone Director at the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke can happen to anyone at any age, at any time, and when it strikes, every second counts.

“A stroke is a medical emergency, so recognising the signs and calling 999 for an ambulance is crucial. The quicker a person arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment. Knowing how to spot the warning signs of a stroke could save a life.”

To find out more about the FAST test, and the Stroke Association’s work to raise awareness of the warning signs of stroke, visit www.stroke.org.uk/FAST.