Father of three, Liam Stapleton, from Chandler's Ford, has successfully completed the Great South Run in less than two hours for the Stroke Association.
Liam Stapleton, 52, a former secondary school teacher had a stroke on Christmas Day in 2014. The stroke left Liam unable to speak and move the right side of his body. Liam has made a remarkable recovery. He has since lost over five stone and regularly takes part in local races.
Liam took part in the Great South Run on Sunday 23 October, raising over £1,000 for the Stroke Association. Liam said: “Two years ago I would never had dreamt that I could run a mile, let alone ten! The run was fantastic, I really enjoyed every minute of it.
“Almost randomly, I got into fitness following my stroke. Eight weeks of exercise and I was a new man with muscular arms, 50% lower on my body fat, and the most flexible I had ever been.
“I started attending the Stroke Association’s support group in Velmore in June last year and realised how lucky I had been. Attending the Group boosted my confidence immensely. I knew I was amongst friends and could be honest about my experiences. Interacting with others in similar situations, gave me the strength to continue fighting.
“I feel so proud of what I’ve achieved since my stroke. It’s not been an easy road, but my life has completely changed for the better, and I’m so thankful to have had such supportive family and friends behind me.”
Michelle Bowdidge, Community Events and Fundraising Manager from the Stroke Association said: “With around 152,000 strokes a year in the UK – that’s around one every three and a half minutes - it is vital that we have people who can raise funds for people affected by stroke. We’re incredibly grateful to Liam for taking on this challenge.”
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 one of the largest causes of disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.
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