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​Stroke survivor takes on zip wire for the Stroke Association

Press Release   •   Feb 13, 2017 12:13 GMT

A 20-year-old stroke survivor and mother of one, from Bishop Auckland, is preparing to take on the Stroke Association’s Zip the Tyne on Saturday 04 March to raise vital funds for the charity that supported her in her recovery.

Chelsea Bewick was three months pregnant in January 2015, when she lost the feeling in her right arm. Doctors advised her that this was caused by carpal tunnel syndrome, as a side effect of her pregnancy, and assured her the movement would return after she had given birth. Chelsea gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Rose, in October that year, however the movement in her arm didn’t return. After several MRI scans, Chelsea was told that the cause was in fact a stroke.

Chelsea said: “I was devastated and broke down when I was told I’d had a stroke. I had no reason to think that the loss of movement in my arm was anything other than a side effect of my pregnancy, so this was a real shock.”

Chelsea has now had to find different ways of caring for Rose using one arm, with the support of her partner, Andrew.

She added: “I used to draw and was in the middle of my A levels when I had my stroke, so I had to leave college. I’ve also had to adapt with Rose and learn to do things a little differently. It took me a while but I’m so proud to have mastered changing Rose’s nappy, despite not being able to use my right arm properly.”

Chelsea is now preparing to take on the Stroke Association’s Zip the Tyne, when she’ll zip wire from the roof of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art to the opposite side of the River Tyne.

Chelsea added: “I’ve always loved doing adrenaline-fuelled things like this, so thought it was the perfect way to fundraise and give something back to a brilliant cause. The Stroke Association visited me in hospital and when I was home, and they gave me a lot of support. I want to raise funds to help other people affected by stroke to get the support they need.”

Kelly Knighting-Wykes, Community and Events Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “With around 1.2 million people across the UK living with the devastating impact of stroke it is vital that we have people to raise funds and help us conquer stroke. We’re thrilled that Chelsea is taking part in our Zip the Tyne; she is a real inspiration. We’re looking forward to cheering her on alongside our other participants as she zips across the River Tyne. We’re calling on event more thrill seeking fundraisers to take part and help us raise money to fund vital research, support people affected and prevent stroke.”

To sponsor Chelsea, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/MISSICHELSEA-BEWICK. Zip the Tyne takes place on Saturday 04 March 2017. It costs £15 to register with discount available for teams of 10 or more, and participants are asked to raise £100 per person. Visit www.stroke.org.uk/events/sporting-fundraising/zip-tyne for more information.

  • 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 more than 100,000 strokes in the UK each year; that is around one stroke every five minutes. 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