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Mumbai - Three stroke survivors, along with their treating neurologist, completed the 5km senior citizen run at prestigious Mumbai Marathon on Sunday.

The participants wanted to create awareness about successful recovery due to early diagnosis and treatment in stroke. Stroke can affect anybody, at any age and at any time. But that isnt the end of your mobility. With accurate treatment within 4.5 hours of golden hour period, one can live a normal life even after stroke, said Dr. Praduyman Oak, Director and Head, Centre of Neuroscience at Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, who himself ran Half Marathon (21km) in Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020 and also joined his patients who ran Senior Citizen Run.

Were seeing a high increase in stroke in people under age 50. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor, and its controllable. Check for it, and treat it. If you have symptoms, he adds, move quickly: After a stroke, time is brain tissue. For every minute that goes by, about 2 million more brain cells will die. A resident of Santacruz, Mr Rasiklal Bavalia, 56 has been walking 1-2km as practice to his Mumbai Marathon. A chronic patient of hypertension, Mr Bavalia was rushed to the hospital on November 9 th as he suffered a stroke at home caused by high blood pressure. After being treated for over seven days, Bavalia was successfully discharged with no physiological impact.

“Shortly after discharge, I resumed my normal physical activity and now I ran Senior Citizen 4.2km run along with Dr Pradyumna Oak. More than the competitive aspect, our goal is to empower the stroke patients and give them confidence that life doesn’t stop at stroke,” said Bavalia.

An avid cyclist with frequent 100km long rides under his belt, Darius Christofids was surprised when he found one half of his body stopped functioning last year. “Within an hour of waking up in the morning, I suddenly felt half of my face and body numb and inactive. My fiancée called a doctor and I was referred to Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital,” said Christofids.

Diagnostic reports found a blood clot in his brain as the cause of stroke the team of specialists led by Dr. Oak performed emergency thrombolysis, well within the golden period of four hours since the first signs of the stroke. “I felt completely healthy after the surgery and was raring to go home. But the doctors suggested I should remain under observation. When in December, Dr Oak invited me to take part in the Marathon, I readily agreed and have been practicing ever since for Half Marathon,” said Christofids I just want to remind everyone: A stroke doesn’t know your age. It doesn’t care if you’re “busy.” It doesn’t care if you’re a race-running jackrabbit like I was. It can affect anyone, especially if you’re ignoring your risk factors, as I was.

A housewife—Mrs Shakuntala Shetty, 63 had collapsed in the washroom of her home suddenly on November 14. As her husband Mohan Shetty rushed to her aid and motivated a semi-conscious Shakuntala to open the door. “I almost dragged her out as she wasn’t able to walk, called for an ambulance and rushed her to Nanavati Hospital,” said Mohan.

As the family suspected Shakuntala’s high diabetes to be the cause of her collapse, an MRI revealed that she had suffered a stroke. “Fortunately so, the doctors spent no time in diagnosis or treatment and she was immediately moved in for stroke management under Dr Oak,” Mohan added.

Within four days of treatment which included two-day long ICU stay, Shakunatala was fit to be walking out of the hospital. “I go for a walk in the ground nearby and perform all my physical activities without any problem, and today I participated to glory for Senior Citizen Run at Mumbai Marathon was a dream come true” said Shakuntala. “I wish to continue to participate in Mumbai Marathon till the time I am hale and hearty”.

So when you go to get a checkup, pay attention to your numbers. Watch your diet.

And make sure you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. You can turn the numbers in your favor. And that’s so much easier than working through stroke rehab (if you even make it that far).

You’re never too busy, young, or fit to have a stroke. So make time now to avoid one. Your life may depend on it.


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