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​Stroke survivor marks recovery with daring Stroke Association zip line challenge

Press Release   •   Jan 18, 2016 10:48 GMT

A young stroke survivor from Durham will mark almost a year since his stroke, by taking part in Newcastle’s first ever night time zip wire.

Arron Walton, 38, a college lecturer from Blackhill, was celebrating Valentine’s Day and his wife Jen’s birthday with a romantic evening at the theatre, when he had a devastating stroke. At the end of the show, Arron found he couldn’t speak and first aiders at the theatre called an ambulance. After a brain scan at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Arron was told he had experienced a stroke caused by a tear in his artery, which had resulted in a blood clot.

A second stroke in hospital meant that Arron’s speech was further affected. He was left with a condition called expressive aphasia, meaning he could understand others, but had difficulties expressing what he wanted to say.

Arron said: “I was lucky to recover enough to be able to return to work after about six months. As a college lecturer, a huge part of my job is talking to students so I was worried I wouldn’t cope. It was a real challenge living with the fatigue and communication challenges. Although my colleagues now say they can’t hear a difference in my speech, I can tell it’s not what it once was.”

Arron and his wife Jen are now taking on the Stroke Association’s Nightfall Zip Line at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts on Saturday 23 January. Arron will mark almost a year since his stroke by zip sliding 846ft from the top of the centre across to the Sage to raise vital funds for the charity.

Arron added: “I’m so happy I am recovered enough to be able to take part in the Nightfall Zip and and raise money for the Stroke Association. The charity supports stroke survivors like me to make their best possible recovery and does so much to raise awareness of this terrible condition.”

Lauren Flint, regional Fundraiser at the stroke Association, said: “This is the first time a night zip has been held in Newcastle. It’s the longest zip slide ever offered in the city, with the added excitement of being at night, so it’s set to be a really thrilling experience for everyone involved.

“We’re so thankful that people like Arron are raising funds to ensure we can be there for more families affected by stroke. He’s a real inspiration and we’ll be cheering him on as he zips slides his way across to the Sage. Together we can conquer stroke”

To sponsor Arron, visit https://www.justgiving.com/TheWalt0ns/. Registration for the Nightfall Zip Line is £25 with a sponsorship target of £100. Contact nightfallzipline@stroke.org.uk if you have any questions about the event or visit www.stroke.org.uk/events/sporting-fundraising/nightfall-zip-line-2016 to register.

For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk

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 www.stroke.org.uk