In a Flash

As Fletcher “Flash” Wiley discovered, symptoms of a stroke can happen quickly

Howard Manly | , Karen Miller | 7/12/2013, 9:56 a.m.
Flash Wiley, a prominent Boston lawyer, attributes his stroke to high blood pressure and heart arrhythmia. Photo by Ernesto Arroyo


Wiley recovered from his stroke quickly enough to perform at Sculler’s Jazz Club in Cambridge

​The doctor was willing, but had a list of demands for Flash to meet before talk of a release, much less an actual release. In fact, the doctor insisted Flash wasn’t going anywhere until he could climb steps on his own and be independent in daily living activities.

​Flash met the test, and sure enough, on May 24, he was right up on stage with his group as they performed before a packed audience. He needed a walker to make it to the stage and used a cane to move around while singing, but, as Flash tells the story, “I was able to sing on key.”

​For that, Flash and the singing group received a standing ovation.

​In hindsight, Wiley had a couple of risk factors for stroke. In addition to atrial fibrillation, he has high blood pressure. Though controlled, Flash admitted his doctor wants it lower.


Sudden dizziness and loss of balance are symptoms of stroke

​But Flash now recognizes that he must make changes in his life. “I’m a little larger than I need to be,” he confessed.

He said he is trying to follow a more nutritious diet. It’s the salt that’s the hardest to control. “That’s a big adjustment,” he said. “The substitutes are not really acceptable.”

For exercise, he walks around the reservoir in Brookline. He adheres to his multiple medications.

​He sometimes walks with a cane, but, according to Flash, the cane is not really needed: it’s just there for comfort. And probably for show. The cane makes him look more dapper.