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Local doctor urges people to know stroke warning signs

A Prisma Health doctor is warning people to listen to their body because anything off, could be a sign something more sinister.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A Prisma Health oncologist surgeon is warning people to take any symptom seriously because it could be a symptom of stroke.

Dr. Julian Kim, who operates on cancer patients at Prisma Health, says he always took care of his body and is a long-distance cycler. What he didn't know was that he had high blood pressure. 

Dr. Kim says he started having headaches and was suffering from sleep apnea. Then one day while operating, the unthinkable happened. He says his high blood pressure led to a bleed into his brain. 

Dr. Kim told News19 that he never thought he would become the patient, saying, "At any moment, one of us could become a patient."

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RELATED: Know the signs of a stroke and act F.A.S.T.

A stroke is when blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

According to the American Stroke Association people need to remember the acronym F.A.S.T. 

  • F = Face Drooping – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person's smile uneven?
  • A = Arm Weakness – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • S = Speech Difficulty – Is speech slurred?
  • T = Time to call 911

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Dr. Kim says, "There are two types of strokes. One is when you have a bleed into your brain from high blood pressure, so those symptoms are going to be related to high blood pressure, headaches would be one. The problem with high blood pressure is that it is the silent killer, most people with high blood pressure don't have any symptoms, so the thing to actually do is get your blood pressure checked."

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