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I ignored stroke, says Fair City's Jim

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Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley

Jim Bartley

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Jim Bartley

FAIR City favourite Jim Bartley did not pay enough attention to the early signs of his stroke and now wants people to know how important it is to dial for help at the first sign of trouble.

The veteran actor, who plays Bela Doyle, was out for Sunday lunch in 2011 when he noticed his arm was going numb, but he paid only passing attention.

"I just thought it was nothing much," he told the Herald.

But the next day while trying to read his Carrigstown scripts his vision began to blur.

"The words were starting to blend together," Jim said.

The actor finally contacted his GP who advised him to head straight to hospital.

"Looking back, I didn't feel bad enough to call on the Sunday," he said.

Now as an ambassador for the Irish Heart Foundation, Jim wants to get the message out about the importance of reacting quickly.

In the three years since his health scare, the 68-year-old has quit his smoking habit and focused on his work and his wife, Helen.

respect

"It was a wake-up call," he said. "You always think it only happens to everyone else."

But he has put the whole experience behind him.

"Old age doesn't creep up on you, it comes right up behind you and slaps you on the back and it says 'howya'," he joked.

Jim's Carrigstown pal Tom Hopkins has been calling on him for advice lately as he films scenes in which his character Christy Phelan deals with suffering from a stroke.

"I wanted to know enough to be able to show respect to someone who might recognise the symptoms," he said.

"I watched my mother before she passed away suffering from a series of smaller strokes that are terrifying."

The Irish Heart Foundation's FAST week launch is urging people to recognise the major signs of a stroke.

Facial drooping, numbness or inability to use your arms and slurred speech are the most common signals of the onset of a stroke.

hnews@herald.ie


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