A Scottish MP has spoken of the moment he realised he was having a stroke aged just 49.
SNP treasury spokesman and deputy Westminster leader Stewart Hosie was so shocked by the health scare – brought on by high blood pressure – that he has given up smoking and completely overhauled his lifestyle.
Mr Hosie, who represents the Dundee East constituency, was rushed to hospital after losing the feeling down his entire left side at the end of last month.
He said: "I felt a tightening in my arm and a kind of tingling numbness in my face. I lost feeling down my whole left side. I just thought, 'here we go, it's a stroke'.
"I got myself down to the GP as quickly as I could and the doctor just said 'don't move'. The next thing I knew, I was in an ambulance to Ninewells. To be honest, I was delighted to be in the ambulance rather than not – it was good to be in the right hands. At the hospital, they did and MRI and an echo cardiogram and it scanned the arteries in my neck."
Mr Hosie was found to have suffered a transient ischaemic attack, a type of "mini stroke". He spent three nights in hospital and has been recovering at home in Broughty Ferry, Dundee.
Around three-quarters of people who suffer strokes are aged 65 or over, but the condition can affect anyone, including young children.
Caused by blot clots or burst blood vessels in the brain, s ufferers can be left permanently brain damaged if immediate medical treatment is not sought.
Key signs of a stroke include slurred speech, the face drooping on one side and the inability to move the arms. Mr Hosie said last night he was now looking forward to a quiet Christmas with wife Shona Robison, the MSP for Dundee East, and their daughter Morag.
He added: "I used to smoke, now that's stopped. I was drinking eight or nine mugs of coffee a day and I'm down to one or two cups now and my alcohol intake has been massively reduced."