Join Christopher and join TeamStroke
08 February 2019
On a Sunday night in August 2015, Christopher Hunter was in bed when he had a stroke at the age of 29. Now, four years later, Christopher has set himself the challenge to run the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon for the Stroke Association.
Christopher explains: “I was sleeping and I don’t know what woke me but I could tell there was something wrong. I couldn’t feel anything on my left side but it was my wife Maria who then noticed that one side of my face had changed and my speech was very slurred. She knew right away that those were the signs of stroke. She did the FAST test and called for an ambulance and I was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital for emergency treatment.”
FAST stands for Face, Arms, Speech and Time to call 999.
“Thankfully I was administered a clot busting injection, a procedure known as Thrombolysis, within about two hours which I’m so grateful for. I stayed in the stroke unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital for 10 days and for four of those days I couldn’t swallow, couldn’t walk properly and my speech was affected. Thankfully I recovered fairly quickly and after about three weeks, felt able to try going back to work.”
“It was after Christmas that year, about four months after my stroke, I signed up for a couch to 5k with West Belfast Coolers running club and honestly haven’t looked back since. I did find it hard at the start but with everyone there being so helpful and understanding I was running 5k at the end of the 10 weeks. The coaches there are fantastic and the support from all the runners/ friends are incredible.”
Four years later Christopher has now ran four 10k races and two half marathons. This year though, Christopher has signed up to run the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon for the Stroke Association on Sunday 5 May. As part of his training, Christopher and a group of his running pals have also registered for the charity’s 5 or 10K Resolution Run on Sunday 24 February.
Join Christopher and join #TeamStroke by entering the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Sunday 5 May 2019 via the MyTicket App at www.belfastcitymarathon.com.
Whether you want to do the eight mile walk or fun run, talk a few friends in to a relay team or take on the marathon yourself, you’ll be supporting people like Christopher living life after stroke.
Christopher says: “I’m really looking forward to crossing the marathon finish line with my club friends and it’s even better knowing that by doing this, I’m helping to support other people affected by stroke across Northern Ireland.
“I know I’ve recovered well from my stroke but it was a frightening time so I want to run for the Stroke Association and give something back. Even today the cause of my stroke is a bit of a mystery but I’ll never forget the expert help and support I received and I’m so thankful to everybody who treated me. I’m running to stay fit and healthy but I’m also running because I know that there are plenty of other’s who will need stroke support in the future.”
The Stroke Association provides specialist services and vital emotional and practical support to stroke survivors and their families across Northern Ireland. Support includes Life After Stroke grants to fund essential equipment, life-changing speech and language therapy programmes for people with communication difficulties following stroke and long-term support with stroke recovery. We also offer peer support through community based groups who meet regularly. Stroke survivors and their families can also register on ‘My Stroke Guide’ which gives you free access to trusted information about different types of stroke, risk factors and secondary conditions. To find out more about the support and services we can provide to help. Visit www.stroke.org.uk or call the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.