The powerful and upbeat rap song was written by Cairns speech pathologist Rukmani Rusch and promotes this year’s theme that ‘Speed Saves’.
FAST is an acronym for the best way to detect a stroke. F is for face – has the person’s face dropped? A is for arms, can the person raise them? S is for speech, is it slurred? If yes to all of these, then T is for time to call 000. The rap is also based on this acronym.
“F.A.S.T. get down to the clinic, don’t wait and see, because it could be a stroke, gotta see the nurse, gotta see the doctor, before it gets worse,” Ms Wenitong sings.
Ms Wenitong is a member of the band Last Kinection. In 2008 she was in a car accident and sustained a brain injury that left her in a coma for three months, which is why she wanted to get involved.
“It was important to get involved, and I try to be involved in a lot of stuff, but it’s important to get involved in your own way,” she said, saying that her way is music.
“Always feel an obligation because we’ve got to look out for each other and ask other mob to be involved.”
Stroke Foundation Queensland Executive Officer Libby Dunstan said that she hopes the song improves stroke awareness in Indigenous communities.
“Too many Australians couldn’t spot a stroke if it was happening right in front of them. We know that in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities this awareness is even lower,” Ms Dunstan said.
“This week we want all Australians no matter where they live of their background to understand the impact time has on stroke.”
She says that being vigilant not only saves lives, but it improves recovery time.
“There will be more than 50,000 strokes in Australia this year and sadly many people miss out on accessing life-saving treatment as they don’t get to hospital on time,” Ms Dunstan said.
“We want the community to be aware that stroke is always a medical emergency. When you have a stroke, your brain cells start to die at a rate of almost two million per minute.
“Most people don’t know that stroke is time sensitive we want them to think and act fast,” she said.