Anna Somerville, 31, from Ryton is taking on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 25 February, less than a year after a life-threatening stroke.
In July 2017, Anna was in bed when she woke with a severe headache.
Anna said: “After taking painkillers and trying to get back to sleep, I started feeling dizzy and vomiting. I just got worse and worse. My husband Mark called 111 and they sent paramedics, who took me to Royal Victoria Infirmary. All I could hear was them saying they thought I’d had a stroke. I’d lost the movement in my right hand side, my speech had gone and the left side of my face had dropped.”
Anna underwent a life-saving thrombectomy, an operation to remove the clot from her brain which had caused her stroke. After the procedure, all her movement came back, but she was still in a lot of pain. Further tests showed Anna had an additional two clots in her body, and a hole in her heart which led to the stroke.
Anna added: “Doctors said if I hadn’t had the operation I’d be dead, in a coma, or left with locked-in-syndrome. I was so lucky to receive thrombectomy; I’m sure that it saved my life. I’m now meeting with consultants ahead of them closing the hole in my heart.”
Anna is now preparing to take on the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run at Leazes Park, Newcastle on Sunday 25 February, to raise vital funds for the charity.
Anna said: “I want to challenge myself and give back to the charity that helped me. I started running this month and found it a lot more difficult than I did previously. I don’t think my muscles are as strong as what they were before my stroke, but my aim is to run the whole route. I’m also hoping to go one step further and complete the Great North Run next year. My mam is going to run alongside me, and my husband Mark, and son Zac will be cheering me on from the sidelines on the day.”
Dave Shearer, 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 Anna is taking part. We’re looking forward to cheering her on alongside our other participants as she makes 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 East.
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.