Gary Mellors, 54, from Ilkeston, is taking on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 06 May, after a life-changing stroke.
Gary was working full-time as an engineering manager running two bus depots for Nottingham City Transport, when he suddenly had a stroke one evening in November 2016. He lost all movement in his right side, as well as his ability to communicate and had to spend two and a half weeks in hospital.
His partner Jayne Caldwell said: “Gary shouted to tell me he’d lost his vision, but we initially thought it was just a migraine. However, when he fell to the floor and started screaming in pain, I called an ambulance immediately and Gary was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham. After a brain scan, doctors found Gary had a clot on his brain, which had caused a significant stroke. Fortunately he was quickly transferred to Nottingham City Hospital where he received the clot-busting treatment, thrombolysis, which we believe contributed to his recovery.
“Gary has also had lots of support, including speech and language therapy and intensive physiotherapy. Now the movement has returned to his right side, although his arm is still weak, and his speech and writing has been affected. He often can’t get his words out or they’re all jumbled up. It’s more frustrating than anything else. Gary hasn’t been able to return to work because of his communication. He also used to be a judo coach, and he’s had to give that up too. It’s been completely life-changing.”
Gary is now preparing to take on the Stroke Association’s 5km Resolution Run at Rushcliffe Country Park on Sunday 06 May, to raise vital funds for the charity. He’ll be running alongside his daughters Rosie, 28 and Mollie, 16.
Jayne added: “We were supported by the Stroke Association after Gary’s stroke and it was brilliant to know they were only ever a phone call away. Now Gary wants to take on the Resolution Run to raise funds for the charity, to help others affected by stroke to get the support they need.
“A year on from his stroke, Gary walked Rosie down the aisle at her wedding, and even managed to give a speech. It was a real milestone in his recovery. Now the Resolution Run is another challenge for him. He’s started going to the gym and whether he walks or jogs, he’ll make it round the course. He is so determined.”
Gary and his daughters have already raised over £1,700 with a £1,000 donation from Gary’s former employer Nottingham City Transport.
Julie Doherty, Community and Events Fundraiser 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 Gary and his daughters are taking part. We’re looking forward to cheering them on alongside our other participants as they make their way through the park.”
The money raised through the Resolution Runs will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research and support people affected by stroke in the East Midlands.
To sponsor Gary, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/garymellors. Entry fee is £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.