Connor Lynes, 14, from Hull has been presented with a Young People’s Courage Award sponsored by Royal Mail, at the Stroke Association’s Life After Stroke Awards.
Connor received his award from Russell Howard and Vogue Williams in recognition of his unwavering determination to raise awareness of stroke among children.
The charity’s star-studded ceremony, sponsored by the TONI&GUY Charitable Foundation, NEXT plc and Irwin Mitchell, was held at the London’s Dorchester Hotel on 16 November.
Professional rugby player hopeful, Connor was just 13 years old when he had a stroke in March last year after playing a match. He was tackled by two older boys but displayed no immediate signs of the condition. The following day, his aunt found him in the bathroom, slumped against the toilet and foaming at the mouth.
Conor’s aunt, Sara said, “I immediately rang for an ambulance, but all the time, I kept trying to comfort Connor and reassure him that it was a trapped nerve. The thought of a stroke did cross my mind, but then I thought there was no way the condition could happen to a teenager.”
Doctors told Conor’s family that he had torn an artery in his neck which had caused a clot which had resulted in a stroke. They were told to prepare for the worst. Connor was taken to surgery where the doctor successfully removed enough of the clot to restore some blood flow to the brain.
Connor, who has been unable to return to school, continues to be at risk of further stroke and regularly experiences stroke-like symptoms. His behaviour can be unpredictable and he continues to experience extreme fatigue, headaches and anxiety attacks.
Connor has set up a group to raise awareness of brain injury in sport and raised over £10,000 for charity. He has also raised awareness of stroke among children in Hull through viral social media campaigns where super league rugby teams offered their support by posing with his logo and changing their profile pictures in solidarity.
Sara continues, “Connor is an inspiration and never gives up. He is truly amazing and is definitely flying the flag for brain injury and children affected by stroke. He has continued to help others in spite of the adversity he faces daily. I am very proud that his contribution is being recognised by the Stroke Association.”
To find out more about the Life after Stroke Awards please visit www.stroke.org.uk/lasa
- A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
- The Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk
- Christmas is the loneliest time to be lost for words. After a stroke, around one in three survivors have difficulty speaking and understanding, which can be terrifying and isolating. But with the Stroke Association’s support, people can find new ways to communicate. Find out how you can help at www.stroke.org.uk/lostforwords or search for #lostforwords
- The 2016 Life After Stroke Awards are sponsored by TONI &GUY Charitable Foundation. More information can be found at: www.toniandguyfoundation.org.uk
- Onecom is the UK’s leading business to business mobile phone provider and manages more than 335,000 connections throughout the UK. Onecom specialises in tailored fixed line and mobile solutions for businesses ranging from SMEs to large corporates. Onecom is headquartered in Whiteley, Hampshire, and also has offices in London, Cambridge, Shoeburyness, Cardiff, Southampton, Plymouth, Leeds, Telford, Norwich and Brighton. Find out more at www.onecom.co.uk
- Royal Mail aims to raise £2 million for the Stroke Association over two years as part of a Charity of the Year partnership, with every penny helping the charity to provide Life After Stroke Grants to 10,000 stroke survivors and their families. These grants fund equipment to give stroke survivors more independence and support as they take their first steps back into the community.