“Many mistakenly think a stroke happens to the elderly.”

Sandi Floria quickly moved  to intense concern when her 42-year-old husband repeatedly dropped the baby food while feeding their child. The puzzled look on his face signaled more than just clumsy hands, and Sandi jumped into action  – because she understood warning signs of a stroke.

Sandi called our show HOPE FOR THE CAREGIVER to share her story, their journey, and their ministry, Compassion Radio.

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The Floria’s Story

Sandi’s husband Bram has been the Full-Time Host of  Compassion Radio and President of Compassion Ventures since December, 2016.  For ten years he served as Executive Producer for the daily broadcast, which now reaches tens of thousands through a network of nearly 500 radio stations with 1000 releases a day.

Bram met Sandi in 1984 while doing Missions Work together in Eastern Europe. Apart and together, they led teams of Christian musicians on Evangelistic Crusades throughout Western Europe, the Soviet Bloc, Africa and Southeast Asia. As a Development Director for Continental Ministries and Christian Artists, Inc., Bram helped advance the arts in creative worship on three continents.

Today, the Florias live on 30 acres of what they call their ‘Texas Paradise’ where they’ve raised their four children.

From the National Stroke Association:

A stroke is a “brain attack”. It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost.

How a person is affected by their stroke depends on where it occurs in the brain and how much the brain is damaged. For example, someone suffering a small stroke may only have minor problems such as temporary weakness of an arm or leg. People suffering larger ones may be permanently paralyzed on one side of their body or lose their ability to speak. Some people recover completely from strokes, but more than 2/3 of survivors endure some type of disability.

Use F-A-S-T to Remember the Warning Signs of a Stroke

  • FACE: Ask the person to smile. Does one side of the face droop?
  • ARMS: Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • SPEECH: Ask the person to repeat a simple phrase. Is their speech slurred or strange?
  • TIME: If you observe any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Stroke By The Numbers

  • Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
  • A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
  • Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke.
  • Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
  • Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.
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