Article Source: Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland
First Published: 17 September 2020 14:51
Updated: 17 September 2020 14:51
MARATHON MUM TAKES ON BIGGEST CHALLENGE YET, RECOVERING FROM STROKE
Now stroke survivor Carole is determined to give back to the charity that changed her life
Carole Fortune’s life changed forever last October when she had a stroke. Carole woke up on the bedroom floor unable to move and didn’t know what had happened to her. Her first thought was that she had overdone things in the gym the night before, but she soon realised that she had no feeling down her left side. Full of panic she shouted on her daughter who quickly realised that her mum was having a stroke and immediately called 999.
Carole, age 56, from Edinburgh who will take on her 16th London marathon for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland in October, said:
“I woke up on my bedroom floor and couldn’t push myself up. I knew something was seriously wrong when I had no feeling at all in my left arm and leg, it was terrifying. I was so relieved that my daughter Jade was in the house when this happened as she often stays with her boyfriend at the weekends. I don’t know what I would have done if she wasn’t home. She could clearly see that my face had drooped and knew I was having a stroke and that she needed to call an ambulance right away.”
At this point Carole wouldn’t have believed that in less than a year she would be taking on the Virgin London Marathon, all to raise money for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland.
Carole recovered well because she was in good shape and because she got to hospital so quickly which improved her chances. Carole worked hard to rebuild her physical strength using furniture to walk with to now being able to run again, but she was struggling mentally and was very afraid and scared of having another stroke.
Thankfully, she started to receive help from Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland’s Stroke Nurse Thomas Jones. Thomas started visiting Carole regularly and was able to help and support her and ease her worries. Carole, who continues to work as a Beauty Therapist explains just how important this help was to her recovery,
“After you have a stroke, your head is swimming with questions and so many worries and I was suffering from a lot of anxiety.
Thomas was absolutely brilliant. He helped me come to terms with this major thing that had just interrupted my life. He is so knowledgeable and answered all my questions I had about my stroke.
Since the stroke, I have struggled with my voice. I found that I spoke too fast and I couldn’t help saying too much in one sentence then I was gasping for air. I couldn’t speak loudly or clearly, making it difficult for me to join in conversations. Thomas arranged speech therapy sessions and the exercises helped with my confidence.
He also arranged physiotherapist sessions as I have a weakness in my left shoulder girdle and that gave me exercises to strengthen it. I still struggle from time to time in certain situations with anxiety, but Thomas still supports me.”
A year on from her stroke, Carole is now taking on a massive physical challenge to raise funds for Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland,
“It’s now been a year since I faced the biggest challenge of my life, recovering from my stroke, and I’m determined to give back to the charity that changed my life.
That’s why I decided to challenge myself to run the virtual London Marathon to help other stroke survivors like me. Not only is it 26.2 miles it has almost 5,000 ft elevation as I am running over the Pentland Hills to Dolphinton.
I hope as many people as possible donate what they can, so that Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland can still be there for people like me who really need their help and services.”
Lawrence Cowan, Director of Fundraising, Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland said:
"Carole is an inspiration. To be taking on such a difficult challenge, and especially after having a stroke just a year ago is incredible.
"Carole is the embodiment of no life half lived and that's what Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland is all about. We want people to do more than survive after a stroke, we want them to really live."
If you would like to support Carole and donate to her incredible challenge, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Carole-FORTUNE
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