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Romantic couple conquer the Spinnaker tower to celebrate tenth wedding anniversary

Press Release   •   Sep 12, 2014 14:35 BST

Portsmouth’s 350ft Spinnaker Tower is a landmark most people enjoy from the ground.  But Rachel Brace, 32, and her husband Phill, 36, will abseil from the outside to raise money for the Stroke Association on Saturday 27 September 2014.  

The couple from Kingsway, Gloucester decided to do this after Rachel had a major stoke last year and wanted to support other people who are going through a similar experience. She needed a pioneering operation to remove a large blood clot from her brain.

The mum of two said: “It’s been a long recovery and I’m still very reliant on other people, particularly my husband to do the simplest tasks.  But I’m still here, thanks to luck and my husband Phill’s quick actions. I had my stroke after Phill was on his way to work and I was at home alone with two small children.  Fortunately Phill had forgotten to kiss one of our children good bye so he came back and found me on the floor unable to speak or move. I didn’t know what had happened but he did the FAST test and called 999.

“When I got to the hospital I had pioneering surgery which has since been featured in a medical magazine. I’m now out of my wheelchair but it’s still going to be a long recovery with daily rehab exercises and learning to adapt to living with a short term memory. The Stroke Association was there for us when we most needed support so I decided to do something brave to say thank you to the charity and show that together we can conquer stroke.”

Nic Clarke, fundraiser at Stroke Association, added: “We’re so impressed by Rachel’s courage and are really looking forward to supporting her on the day. The Stroke Association’s Spinnaker abseil is one of our most popular fundraising events and we’ve sold most of our spaces already. If you want one of the last few places, sign up soon to avoid disappointment, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. If you want to find out more about the support available from the Stroke Association go to: “

The couple will also receive certificates at the Stroke Association’s South West Life After Stroke Awards on 1 October 2014.

Rachel has started to make jewellery to improve dexterity in her hand and tries to do her own physiotherapy to work up her strength.


For further information, case studies, interviews and images please contact Josie Gray on 02380 720 438 or 07932751486.

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 the leading cause of severe adult 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