Just five months after suffering a mini-stroke, Ironman Simon Caulfield is about to embark on a 10k race in aid of the Stroke Association.
The 45 year old from Craigavon had been on his exercise bike at his home in Craigavon when he ‘took a turn’ last September.
Simon is running the 10K in aid of the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run on Sunday 23 February.
A keen triathlete, Simon is a member of Tri Limits triathlon club in Dungannon and had just returned from a half Ironman competition in Gdynia, Poland. He puts his rapid recovery down to the support he received from his family at home, work and in his triathlon club.
Simon says: “I was on the exercise bike in the garage and I took a turn. I didn’t know what it was at first. I detected something in my vision but thought it was a migraine and so I took myself off to bed.
"When I woke up after a couple of hours, I couldn’t move my left arm, my face had drooped on one side and my speech had gone. It was very frightening. You hear about this but you think it’ll never happen to you.
"Thankfully my symptoms only lasted a little while. My speech was the last to come back after a few days.
"I spent eight days on the stroke ward in Craigavon hospital. I’ll always remember, I was one of the youngest on the ward. I seemed to be the least affected so I thought while I still can, I’m going to do something to raise a bit of awareness and money to help people in a far worse situation than me”.
Paul Montgomery, Fundraising Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “Stroke recovery is a marathon not a sprint. That’s why we’re encouraging people from all over Northern Ireland to join Simon and join our Resolution Run in Belfast and raise funds for the Stroke Association. This year we’re delighted that our Belfast event will be supported by Podium 4 Sport.
“Life after stroke is different for us all, but there is one way we can stand together. The Resolution Run is the perfect opportunity to mark a milestone in your own stroke recovery, show your support for a friend or family member affected by stroke, or in memory of a loved one. It’s more than a run, it’s a resolution to help rebuild lives after stroke in Northern Ireland.”
There are 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK, that’s over 38,000 in Northern Ireland living with devastating wide-ranging disabilities such as speech difficulties, memory loss and mental health issues. The Stroke Association provides specialist support, funds critical research and campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.
Online entries close on Wednesday 12 February and the entry fee is just £15. There will be limited spaces available on the day at a cost of £20 and participants can choose their distance from either 5 or 10K. Walk or run, all participants will receive a medal waiting at the finish line. To join the resolution, visit www.resolutionrun.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 330 0740.
You can support Simon’s fundraising by visiting his JustGiving page at http://www.justgiving.com/simon-caulfield-resolution-run-belfast-2020