ON Friday, November 10, I was cycling to a 2pm appointment at Allport Dental Surgery in Bromborough when I experienced terrible double vision and cycled off the path.

I thought I had left the house too quickly without a hat so, being an ex-adventure racer, I closed one eye and carried on.

After the routine check up, I struggled to leave the chair and David Griffiths, my dentist, told me to sit there a minute, as maybe I had tried to stand up too fast.

He was watching me, then got a mirror and asked "Andy, do you normally look like this?"

It was the start of a roller coaster four hours; my left eye had drooped.

Although he felt like a bit of a fraud, he called 999 and initially the first responder and ambulance crew were not too sure what to make of me.

I had some other transient symptoms, but was lucid with double vision and my face was weak. They decided to take me to Arrowe Park (about an hour after my first symptom).

In the ambulance I became incoherent, I couldn't coordinate my left arm movements and my double vision was to the point of hallucinating.

I heard them radioing ahead and was met by a team from the Hyper Acute Stroke Unit in A&E, where (I thought) I was perfectly lucid again.

I think it was less than 25 minutes between arrival, CT scan and thrombolysis treatment starting.

It was just as well, because during my next episode, I had left side paralysis, incoherent speech and had closed my eyes, as I could not make anything out.

I was probably like that for about an hour, before the clot busters started working and I could lift my arm again and speak clearly.

A few hours later I could see my phone again and had pretty much recovered. The MRI at 24 hours confirmed "a small focal acute infarction in the right thalamus" (ie a stroke!).

I'm physically fine now, but have been warned I could be very tired for the next few months.

Thanks to Allport Dental Surgery, North West Ambulance Service, Arrowe Park Hospital Ward 23 Hyper Acute Stroke Unit, all of whom looked after me brilliantly and led to the positive outcome I have today.

Remember BE FAST (Balance, Eyes, Face, Arms, Speech, Time to call 999) because I believe it made all the difference in my case.

Andy Mitchell, by email