WITHOUT the quick thinking of his wife, Port Fairy's Justin Williams might not be alive today.
Mr Williams, 49, suffered a stroke on August 4, 2021, that left him unable to speak coherently for about six months.
He said at the time he had been working really hard and was run down. He finished work at 1am and was up early the next morning to prepare for a radio spot at 7.30am.
"I was really tired and I had a splitting headache," Mr Williams said.
"I thought I've got to lie down and that's really weird for me at 9am in the morning.
"My wife was going out and I said 'yeah no worries' and she's freaking out and I had no idea why."
Unbeknown to Mr Williams he was struggling to speak and she called triple-0.
Mr Williams said he was asked questions by the triple-0 operator who didn't suspect there was anything serious.
But his wife followed her gut and took her husband to emergency care at the Port Fairy Hospital.
"They put me on the bed and I literally had no idea of what had happened," Mr Williams said.
"I was speaking to my wife later and she said I couldn't speak, but I thought I was speaking.
"They were doing my bloods and I was talking to them and then everything just shut down in my head so I had a full on stroke.
"They then called an ambulance and I was taken to the stroke unit in Warrnambool, and thank God for those people. I just had no idea how to speak.
"They did a CT scan and put an iPad up and there was a doctor in Melbourne who said we've got to get you straight to Melbourne right now."
Mr Williams said he was in an emotionally fragile state by this point and a paramedic sat beside him and said he'd be with him in the helicopter and he would stay by his side until he got into the operating theatre.
"It was like an episode of Grey's Anatomy," he joked.
"I'm looking around the room and I'm really into tech and there's this music playing.
"I woke up that night and I was in a big room but I didn't know what hospital I was in.
"It was the middle of COVID lockdowns so I couldn't see anyone. I couldn't ask anyone because I couldn't speak.
"I set up computers for a living and I was just thinking 'OK it's like a computer restarting'.
"I knew I couldn't speak, I couldn't read and do all that sort of stuff but my hand was starting to come back.
"Once I knew my body was right I was happy. I knew I'd had a stroke and I could hear what people were saying but I couldn't ask them anything."
Mr Williams said a few days later he was given an iPad to speak to his family and he made funny faces so his children knew he was still the same person.
He said he was eventually sent to Warrnambool Base Hospital where a young doctor said he was brain damaged and would probably never be the same again.
"He tried to make me say British Constitution and I couldn't get it out, but that was really waving a red flag in front of me because I was determined to say British Constitution."
Mr Williams said he probably had about six months in recovery.
"It was fascinating for me how the brain worked," he said.
"I loved doing all the rehab stuff especially the speech stuff.
"It took me about six months until I was speaking coherently, I do radio every Wednesday and that was a really big goal in my head to get back into that.
"Gradually I got back to as close as normal, I still have issues with speech and things like that when I get tired.
"I was in an emotionally fragile space before it happened and it was like a forced holiday, unfortunately I had some brain damage from it.
"It forces you to just focus on your family and I've learnt so much about the brain.
"I definitely wouldn't be around if my wife hadn't followed her gut, she didn't take no for an answer when she was speaking to triple-0.
"The thing is when it kicked in it was really fast. I was midway through a sentence when it happened and you know that it's something really bad at that point and you know you're never going to get it back.
"But I'm happy I'm here and I can still work. Everything goes back to basics and you rely on your family and your love of them and the community support which makes a big difference."
According to the Stroke Foundation most regional Victorians are unable to recognise the most common signs of stroke.
"Inability to lift both arms is one of the most common signs of stroke but it has the least awareness and we need to change this," Stroke Foundation Chief Executive Officer Lisa Murphy said.
"A significant proportion of stroke patients are arriving to hospital with this particular indicator of stroke so it's concerning that the majority of regional Victorians don't know it's a sign," she said.
The F.A.S.T. acronym highlights the three most common signs of stroke (face, arms, speech). The T stands for time as a reminder that there is no time to waste, stroke is a medical emergency and always a triple-0 call.
"Knowing the signs of stroke is a crucial first step in receiving emergency treatment and increasing the chances of surviving and living well after stroke," Dr Murphy said.
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