Knowing the warning signs of a stroke could save your life

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It started just like any other morning for Fox 26 anchor Jose Grinan, giving Houstonians the news they need and starting their day on time.  But a series of signs would foreshadow an event that would change his life.

“I was sitting next to Melissa and all of a sudden I got double vision. And it wasn't side-by-side vision, it was over-under vision,” Grinan said.

Jose thought maybe it was his vision, but it wasn't.

“My mini-stroke took place right here in this studio,” Grinan said.

The veteran broadcaster is one of millions of Americans who have had a stroke. But like many, he didn't realize when it what was happening. A day and half later his alarm went off, and he couldn't get up from his bed to turn it off.
“I think I was initially having my stroke in my sleep,” Grinan said.

“My daughter, who was visiting, thank god. She came in and looked in the room because the alarm clock was going off. ‘You okay, dad?’ I looked at her and she was like ‘what’s the matter?’  ‘I don't need you to freak out. I need you to call my doctor.’ So she called him -- this was my eye doctor -- and he said get him to a hospital now. So I was taken to hospital probably in less than 45 minutes after I had those serious symptoms.

That fast response by his eye doctor and his daughter helped save his life.  And F.A.S.T. is the acronym doctors want you and everyone in your family to know to help save your life or someone you care about.

“The number of Americans dealing with strokes is rising and African Americans and Hispanics are particularly vulnerable,” Dr. Ifejika said.

For Grinan, sharing his experience is now part of his message to urge people to take care of their health, and know the warning signs.  Because for him, timing is everything.

“I think it was the time that saved me. A lot of times people use the acronym FAST. Face, Arm, Speech and Time. F-A-S-T. To me time was the most important thing,” Grinan said. “Had my daughter not been visiting, I don't know where or how I would be today. So I have no problem telling people “Yeah, I had a stroke, but I'm doing OK.’ And what you have to do, if you feel something that you haven't felt in your life before, go check it out. Go to a doctor, let the doctor determine whether it is a stroke or not. It's just a few minutes going to a doctor, but it could save your life. And I think it saved my life.”