A spokesman for Margaret Thatcher, Tim Bill, says the former British Prime Minister died Monday morning of a stroke. Thatcher was 87.

Thatcher was the first — and still only — female prime minister in Britain’s history. The Iron Lady, as she was called, ruled for 11 years

Flags were at half-mast at Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Downing Street as a show of respect, reports the Associated Press. The British government said Thatcher will receive a ceremonial funeral with military honors.

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability.

A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures). When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it and brain cells die.

Here are sign and symptoms to help you recognize a stroke F.A.S.T.:

  • Face Drooping: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.
  • Arm Weakness: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
  • Speech Difficulty: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
  • Time to call 911: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Both Washington Adventist Hospital and Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center are designated Primary Stroke Centers by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). As Primary Stroke Centers, the hospitals have measures in place that allow for a streamlined, coordinated approach to caring for stroke patients. This is important because the sooner a stroke victim gets to the hospital, the sooner they’ll get treatment which makes a remarkable difference in the recovery process.

Both hospitals were also recently awarded the Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association (AHA) for their expert, high-quality stroke care.

“Our team is constantly looking at the evidence-based, best practices in stroke care to help us meet the national quality metrics that define quality care for stroke patients,” said Perry Smith, M.D., Neurologist at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center. “The AHA recognition tells us that we have made great strides in this work.”

“Our highly skilled team has systems in place to provide quick, life-saving care at our hospital,” said Amir Zangiabadi, M.D., Director of the Stroke Program and Neurologist at Washington Adventist Hospital. “This team approach helps to save lives at a time when minutes matter the most.”

Read more about the Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award here.