After Death of Luke Perry, Doctors Offer Advice on Strokes

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- After well-known Hollywood actor Luke Perry passed away from complications from a stroke, health officials want to remind everyone what can be done to prevent a stroke. Noticing one symptom can be the difference in saving someone's life.

Luke Perry was only 52 when he passed away from a stroke he suffered the week before. From "90210" to "Riverdale," Perry's legacy in Hollywood will be remembered.

Health officials in our area are using this high-profile case to help spotlight helpful warning signs.

"Even the wealthiest of folks with all the best health care possible in Hollywood, it is a disease process that can hit anyone at any time in the family," said Dr. Gregory Weiner at Geisinger Wyoming Valley near Wilkes-Barre.

The neurosurgeon stressed that healthy living is essential in helping to avoid strokes.

"If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or diabetes, taking your medication is essential, but some people even with the medication, the most important thing is a healthy diet, not smoking," said Dr. Weiner.

Health officials say signs of a stroke can be seen in the face, arms, and speech. If any of those symptoms are happening to you, it is time to act "FAST."

Those symptoms include face drooping, arm pain, or slurred speech.

"Calling 911 is even better because first responders can actually communicate with the hospital and get the stroke team mobilized, and when you do arrive, you already have that team there," Dr. Weiner added.

At John Heinz Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, Sue Schwartz has been helping victims recover from strokes for decades.

From speech therapy to physical therapy, her team helps people on the long road to recovery.

"We treat the whole patient, you know, those cognitive issues they might have. Sometimes, you cannot speak," said Schwartz. "There's a lot more that goes into it."

Early detection is the best prevention of avoiding a stroke.

If you have any face drooping, arm pain, or slurred speech, it is time to call 911.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.