Billericay stroke survivor Nicola Ackland, 32, has proved that their is ‘Life after Stroke’ after she took part in the Stroke Association’s Step out for Stroke charity walk last weekend, at High Woods Park in Colchester.
Nicola was joined by fourteen of her family and friends who cheered her on as she managed to walk 1.61 miles, the furthest distance she has walked since her stroke two years ago.
So far, the family have managed to raise £1,500 for the Stroke Association and are hoping to raise more. Nicola had her stroke two years ago after going to bed with a severe headache. Nicola explained: “I never thought that I would have a stroke, so it came as a complete surprise. One evening two years ago, I told my sons that I didn’t feel well and I was going to bed. When I woke up in the morning I couldn’t move my body to get out of bed. I was so frightened, and couldn’t understand what was going on. I managed to drag myself to my son’s room, and told them to call 999 fast. After months in hospital, I came home with aphasia, depression, right side paralysis and epilepsy. It was an extremely terrifying experience, but I am so grateful for all the support from my friends and family.”
Although the movement has gradually returned and Nicola has started walking, she still has limited control over her right side.
Nicola said: “The Step out for Stroke on Sunday was a huge success, I managed to walk 1.61 miles which is a huge achievement. The Stroke Association do a fantastic job to help stroke survivors and their families, so I am so happy to support the charity's work, and help raise vital funds so they can help others. For me, physically and mentally it was exhausting, but it was wonderful to have the support of my family and friends walking alongside me.”
Claire Ackland, Nicola's mum said: "When my daughter had her stroke at the age of 30, I was so scared. As a parent, it was the most terrifying day of my life. However, Nicola has always been a fighter and she is a shining example that there is life after stroke. The day was a fantastic family affair, Nicola was joined by me, her dad, her sister, her brother-in-law, her two sons, her nephews and friends. It was lovely to see everyone come together for a good cause."
George Burroughs, Fundraising Manager from the Stroke Association in the East of England, added: “Nicola is a real inspiration and seeing her challenge herself at Step out for Stroke is testament to how far she has come.”
· A stroke is a brain attack, which happens when the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. It is the leading cause of severe adult disability in the UK. In the East of England around 11,600 people have a stroke every year and over 100,000 people live with the effects of stroke.
· Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and we’re leading a community of people to change the world for people affected by 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