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A news anchor showed signs of a stroke on air, but her colleagues caught them early

An Oklahoma news anchor is recovering after she began showing signs of a stroke while on air Saturday morning.

Julie Chin, of the NBC affiliate news station KJRH, said she first began losing vision in part of her eye, then her hand and arm went numb. Then, while she was doing a segment on NASA's delayed Artemis launch, she began having difficulty reading the teleprompter.

"If you were watching Saturday morning, you know how desperately I tried to steer the show forward, but the words just wouldn't come," she posted on Facebook.

Chin said she felt fine earlier in the day, and "the episode seemed to have come out of nowhere."

She spent the days following the incident in the hospital, where doctors said she was experiencing early signs of a stroke. While Chin said she is doing fine now, the doctors will have to do more following up.

"I'm thankful for the emergency responders and medical professionals who have shared their expertise, hearts, and smiles with me. My family, friends, and KJRH family have also covered me in love and covered my shifts."

How to recognize signs of a stroke

The medical community uses the BE FAST acronym to educate people on catching signs of a stroke:

  • Balance: Is the person having a hard time staying balanced or coordinated?
  • Eyes: Is the person experiencing blurry vision, double vision or loss of vision in one or both of their eyes?
  • Face: Is one side of the person's face drooping? Test this by asking them to smile.
  • Arms: Are they experiencing numbness or weakness in their arms? Ask them to raise their arms.
  • Speech: Is the person's speech slurred? Are you having a hard time understanding them? Have them try to repeat a simple sentence.
  • Time to call for help: If the person is exhibiting one, or a combination of the above signs, call 911 and get them to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
  • Other signs of a stroke may include numbness or weakness in other parts of the body, sudden confusion or severe headaches.

    How common are strokes?

    More than 795,000 Americans have a stroke each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 77% of them happen to people who have never had one before.

    It is a leading cause of death and disability among Americans, with more cases concentrated in the Southeast.

    But the rates of death from strokes have decreased over the past few decades. And while the risk of stroke increases with age, they can happen at any time – 38% of stroke patients in 2020 were under age 65, the CDC says.

    Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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    Ayana Archie