SURVIVED STROKE: Neil Collie’s wife got him to Nambour hospital after recognising the warning signs of a stroke.
SURVIVED STROKE: Neil Collie’s wife got him to Nambour hospital after recognising the warning signs of a stroke. Brett Wortman

Wife’s FAST action saved Neil’s life

IF not for the quick thinking of his wife, Neil Collie could be dead.

The 45-year-old woke up one morning to find the left side of his body had gone numb. His wife recognised it as a warning sign of a stroke and drove him to nearby Nambour hospital.

"Lucky for me I received the incredible new clot-busting treatment," he said.

"Combined with rehab, it's only taken me about six months to get back to a point where I'm quite comfortable in life."

Mr Collie is now focused on helping raise public awareness of stroke.

"When I go and help at the stroke ward, family members say things to me like 'I wish I'd seen the signs' or 'I wish I'd listened when he said he was sick'."

Mr Collie said the Stroke Foundation's FAST test was a simple checklist but it could easily save lives.

He is one of thousands of people taking part in a virtual relay around Australia as part of National Stroke Week.

Labelled the Dream Team, participants have pledged to cover a virtual 36,000km around the country.

"I add up the distance I cover in my training sessions, send it in to the National Stroke Foundation and it gets tallied up," Mr Collie said. "So far we've covered a distance from Melbourne to Perth."

Mr Collie is aiming to complete the Sunshine Coast Marathon next August.

"If I can raise awareness and save even one person, then it's been worth the whole journey," he said.

Stroke is the second biggest killer in Australia after heart disease.


Face: Check their face. Has their mouth drooped?

Arm: Can they lift both arms?

Speech: Is their speech slurred? Do they understand you?

Time: Is critical. If you see any of these signs call 000 straight away.

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