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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.
Flash Wiley, a prominent Boston lawyer, attributes his stroke to high blood pressure and heart arrhythmia. Photo by Ernesto Arroyo

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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.

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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.