Stroke prevention was the purpose of an event at a hospital in Waterville.The folks in the rehab unit at Maine General Medical Center hosted Stroke Awareness Day.Vendors were on-hand to provide information about stroke and steps you can take to avoid it.Signs of stroke include changes in speech, pain on your left side, and changes in your vision or balance.Organizers of Wednesday’s event say knowing the warning signs is key to avoiding long term damage. “They want to get to the emergency room immediately,” said Gayle Cunningham, Rehab Unit Administrator at Maine general. “They have new procedures and medications that help reduce the effects of a stroke if you get this medication within a certain time frame. I believe it’s 3 hours. That can help reduce the effects of the stroke.”Maine General Hospital also offers a support group for stroke victims and their families. For more information you can contact Marianne at Maine General: 861-6726Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., and the world.