EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Saturday is World Stroke Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of stroke prevention and treatment. It’s also intended to make sure stroke survivors get the best possible care and support.

A stroke can strike regardless of your age, existing medical conditions, or how physically active you are.

Eyewitness News reporter and Anchor Mark Hiller had his nearly eight years ago when he was at home. But an Oklahoma news anchor suffered one on-air recently showing how a stroke can happen to anyone at any time.

Multiple Emmy award-winning KRJH journalist Julie Chin suffered a stroke in September which she never saw coming.

“That was a very good example of how suddenly a stroke can strike and that’s why it’s so important for us to visit with our doctors and look after ourselves,” explained cardiologist, Dr. Fahmi Farah, MD.

While not all strokes are preventable, cardiologist Fahmi Farah, MD, says four of every five are.

“So eat healthy, heart-healthy food and exercise, very important. Stress management, very important,” Dr. Farah added.

Knowing how to prevent a stroke is not all that’s important. Knowing the warning signs of a stroke are, too.

Think of the acronym BEFAST, sudden trouble with balance or coordination, blurred or loss of eyesight, face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, and time to call 911.

“A lot of times people wait too long to seek help and it’s really important to recognize the signs and symptoms,” said Triscia Lathrop a Paramedic and Supervisor for Back Mountain EMS.

Besides ignoring the signs of a stroke, Triscia Lathrop says another mistake is driving yourself to the hospital. An ambulance that can take there can do something you or a loved one driving cannot.

“You can get treatment on the way to the hospital so that we can notify the hospital in a very timely manner so they’re prepared when you get here,” Lathrop continued.

Roughly 800,000 people in the u.S. Each year suffer a stroke. The National Institutes of Health reports about 137,000 die.

It’s why Dr. Farah urges this world stroke day to take steps now and prevent what might be a preventable tragedy.

“Don’t ignore your risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes,” Doctor Farah noted.

Clot-induced strokes make up the majority of strokes. The ones called T.I.A.’s usually resolve themselves within 15 minutes but other strokes require intervention like medication and even surgery.

Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about strokes and do yourself a favor for world stroke day: memorize the signs.