Caroline Peart from Doncaster is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for the Stroke Association on Sunday 22 April 2018. She is marking the fifth anniversary (to the day) since her husband had a near fatal stroke.
Caroline, 42, was inspired to run the Marathon after her husband Graeme was given just 48 hours to live on 22 April 2013 as a result of a brain stem stroke.
A mother to two boys Eden (12), Josh (9), Caroline said: “Both Graeme and I had high-flying jobs, and Graeme used to work all the time in sales. One Sunday he was downstairs on the sofa when I heard him shouting that he couldn’t move. He had pins and needles everywhere, and knew he was having a stroke. He grabbed my hand and told me he loved me and the kids, before he collapsed on the sofa.”
Paramedics took Graeme straight to the hospital where Caroline was told he’d had a brain stem stroke and that there was no hope. She was advised to bring family to say goodbye, as he had just 48 hours to live. However, against all odds, Graeme survived. Initially he could only move his eyelids, but he slowly started to come around and was talking again six weeks after his stroke.
Caroline recalls: “Doctors thought it was a miracle. Graeme’s stroke has left him with severe paralysis and he is now wheelchair bound and partially blind. We care for him around the clock as he has been completely stripped of all his independence.”
Caroline added: “I was part of a running club before Graeme’s stroke. Now I don’t have the time; I work, I look after the kids and care for Graeme. But the London Marathon was something I always wanted to do. As soon as I saw the date, I knew it was my year. I’d tried for a few years before and had never got a place. This year I did.
“I now have the support of two carers who have taken on extra hours to enable me to train. It’s lovely to be out and get time to myself while I’m running. My friend Jamie, owner of SiR Barbers in Doncaster, is running with me and he’s been amazing, pushing me all the time. We want to raise lots of money for the Stroke Association so that the charity can help other families, like ours, who are affected by this devastating condition.”
Emma Evans, Events Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “There are around 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the devastating impact of stroke. We’re thrilled Caroline is taking on this challenge to raise much needed funds for the Stroke Association’s work and we’re looking forward to cheering her on as she makes her way through London.
“A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it turns lives upside down in an instant. With the support of people like Caroline we can reach out to more stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives.”
To sponsor Caroline, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/caroline-peart or Jamie, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jamescurrie45