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Ellesmere Port dad who suffered two strokes takes on charity walk after daughter's wedding joy

Paul Holding will take part in the Walk for Wards at The Countess of Chester Country Park next month

Paul Holding with the stroke unit team at the Countess of Chester Hospital Paul (centre).
(left to right): Lawrence Holland, Sarah Riley, Callum Skillen, Kathryn Conway, Jennifer OShaughnessey and Hannah Laurence
Paul Holding with the stroke unit team at the Countess of Chester Hospital - (left to right): Lawrence Holland, Sarah Riley, Callum Skillen, Kathryn Conway, Jennifer OShaughnessey and Hannah Laurence

A doting dad who managed to walk his daughter down the aisle after suffering two strokes is raising money for the hospital which enabled him to be a part of her big day.

Paul Holding, 60, from Ellesmere Port, suffered two strokes in June as a side effect of a triple heart bypass and major heart surgery.

With little over five weeks until his daughter Emma’s big day, the martial arts instructor attended his first therapy appointment at the Countess of Chester Hospital’s stroke unit in the hope he would be able to attend.

When the extent of the issues were revealed, Emma considered moving her wedding date.

However, Paul insisted he would find a way to be there.

“It was one of those horrible moments when you see it running straight at you and realise you might not be able to make that date,” Paul said.

“We've been really lucky and it meant we could achieve this really nice outcome for Emma.

“It would have been horrible if I couldn't have been there - it was the best day ever.”

Paul Holding with his daughter, Emma Tomlinson, on her wedding day
Paul Holding with his daughter, Emma Tomlinson, on her wedding day

Paul is hoping to give something back to the unit who helped with his recovery by taking part in the Walk for Wards on Sunday, October 9.

The event held in the Countess of Chester Country Park is now in its second year, and raised £15,000 for the hospital last year.

He is hoping to raise as much money as possible to help the unit buy more of the equipment he used during his time on the ward.

Paul added: “We can’t thank everyone at the hospital enough - they make it fun.

“If you can’t do something, they find something you can and they were like that with everyone. It made you feel part of a team.”

Therapist Lawrence Holland, who raised enough money for three specialist wheelchairs through last year’s event, said: “It’s great that Paul wants to give something back to the unit by doing Walk for Wards.

“Helping him and his family to enjoy Emma’s special day was incredibly rewarding and we’re all very touched that he now wants to do this for us.”

Community fundraiser Angie Lopez added: “Paul’s story and his reasons for doing Walk for Wards epitomise what the event is all about.

“It’s a chance for people to give something back and say thank you to specific areas of the hospital that are special to them.”

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