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My wife's F.A.S.T. actions saved my life

Former RTE weather man recalls how his wife’s F.A.S.T. actions saved his life

John Doyle, a well-known meteorologist and regular RTE weather forecaster in the 1980s and 90s is an expert at forecasting the weather, but there was no way he could have predicted what would unfold one morning in January 2013 as he prepared to travel to Galway with his family.

John recalled that he was getting ready to leave the house to travel to Galway with his family when he suffered a serious stroke.

His wife Joan was waiting in the car with the engine running and came to look for him. Unfortunately, she found him collapsed on the bathroom floor unable to move.

Luckily for John Joan had recalled the F.A.S.T. advertising at the time, she saw that his face was distorted and he couldn’t move the right side of his body.  She immediately knew he was having a stroke and speed was of the essence so, she called 999 without delay.

It was thanks to Joan’s F.A.S.T. actions that John was taken to James’s Hospital in Dublin where he received emergency thrombolysis treatment for what medics said was a serious stroke.

She immediately knew he was having a stroke and speed was of the essence so she called 999 without delay.


John recalled that the next morning he was seen by a doctor who told him that he was lucky that he was treated so quickly as without the F.A.S.T. actions of his wife, his speech and right side would have been severely affected.

Remarkably John spent just one week in hospital and was back driving a month later.

He said he would always be grateful for his wife’s quick actions and also for the fact that his stroke didn’t occur 30 minutes later when he would have been driving his family to Galway

“I was lucky that she was there and that she recognised straight away what it was, John said.

Seven years on from his stroke John is doing well.

Sadly, John’s lifesaver that day Joan passed away in January 2019 and he misses her desperately.

John will always be grateful that Joan was there that day to act F.A.S.T.


After his stroke John joined the Irish Heart Foundation’s Stroke Support Group in Crumlin which he said was a good way to socialise with others who were in the same situation as himself.

Since COVID-19 hit the stroke support group now meets online and John said he enjoys keeping in touch with the members via WhatsApp and other online forums.

He has also inherited his daughter’s dog Chilli, a 15-year-old canine companion who John described as “old and stiff like myself” and Chilli is a great excuse for John to keep up his exercise with regular walks in his local area.

John said it was important that everyone knew the F.A.S.T. signs and he will always be grateful that Joan was there that day to act F.A.S.T. her actions meant that he didn’t suffer life-long disabilities as a result of his stroke.

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