An eight-year-old stroke survivor from Preston is taking on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 18 March alongside his family, to mark a milestone in his recovery.
In January 2017, Ryan Dixon had been constantly sick for around a week, and his family and GP initially thought he had a bug.
Ryan’s mother Carolyne said: “We put Ryan’s symptoms down to a bug at first, but one morning he literally fell out of bed when he couldn’t use his left leg. I recognised the signs of a stroke, as my dad had a stroke years ago, but doctors at Preston Hospital didn’t think it was anything serious and discharged us. As we were leaving, Ryan couldn’t walk straight or focus and we headed straight back to A&E. An MRI scan confirmed that he’d had an ischaemic stroke.”
After undergoing tests for months, Ryan has been diagnosed with a very rare condition called PRES (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome), which caused his stroke. Ryan has now returned to school at Lever House Primary School, and although he has recovered well physically, he still has fatigue and anxiety as a result of his stroke.
Ryan is preparing to take on the Stroke Association’s 5km Resolution Run at Stanley Park, Blackpool on Sunday 18 March, alongside Carolyne, his father Lee and his 14-year-old brother Sam.
Carolyne added: “We are really looking forward to it as the Stroke Association is a cause very close to our hearts. I don’t run at all, so will be taking a much slower pace, but I am determined to do it. My eldest son, Sam, is planning on running, as he is very fit and sporty, while my husband and Ryan will be somewhere in between. We’re not hoping to break any records, but to take part as a family and hopefully raise some vital funds along the way. We are also bringing our dog to join us, and he’s going to have his very own Resolution Run t-shirt!”
Rebecca Owen, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It's the ideal event for people who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2018.
“Every five minutes in the UK, someone’s life is turned upside down by stroke. By signing up to a Resolution Run, each runner will help us do so much more to support stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives. We’re thrilled the Dixon family is taking part. We’re looking forward to cheering them on alongside our other participants as they make their way through the park.”
At least half of strokes could be prevented if people made simple lifestyle changes, such as keeping blood pressure under control, eating healthily and taking regular exercise. The money raised through the Resolution Runs will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in the North West.
Entry fee is just £16. All runners receive a technical running t-shirt and medal. For more information about entering or volunteering at the Resolution Run, visit http://www.stroke.org.uk/resolution, email email@example.com or call 0300 330 0740.