A Helsby grandmother and stroke survivor, who was told she might never walk again, has braved walking barefoot across burning coals to raise more than £680 for charity.
Vera Kelly, 82, took part in a firewalk organised by the Stroke Association on Wednesday, December 2, at the Arena and Convention Centre (ACC) in Liverpool.
When Vera had a stroke in December 2012, aged 79, one side of her body was almost completely paralysed. After intensive physiotherapy and a lot of determination, Vera left hospital two months later.
Vera said: “It was awful lying in hospital praying I’d be able to walk again. Before I had a stroke, I walked and rode my bike every day. I remember thinking, there’s no way I am staying in bed; I’m going to fight this.”
To mark three years after her stroke, Vera and her granddaughter Jessica Davies walked across 20 feet of wood embers, burning up to 1300°F.
Vera said: “The atmosphere at the firewalk was fantastic and everyone was clapping and cheering. After I’d done the walk the first time they asked if anyone would like to do it again, and of course I agreed!”
Events officer at the Stroke Association Laura McMullin said: “Vera was our oldest participant on the day and an inspiration to us all. All the money raised by Vera and the rest of our firewalkers will go towards research into preventing strokes, and supporting thousands of stroke survivors and their families to adjust to a life after stroke.”
The Stroke Association is the UK’s leading stroke charity which campaigns to improve stroke care; supports people to make the best recovery they can and funds ground-breaking research to change the lives of people affected by stroke. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk .