2 August 2019

Stroke patient thanks medical teams from top of Mount Snowdon

A stroke patient has thanked the team who treated him by sending them a video from the top of one of the UK’s highest mountains.

John Webb, 58, climbed Mount Snowdon in Wales less than four months after suffering a serious stroke, which initially left him unable to walk at all.

But after treatment at the Acute Stroke Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital, followed by rehabilitation at the Stroke Pathway Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre (SPARC) and at home with the community stroke service, he was able to complete the challenging solo hike.

At the summit, he recorded a video to thank the team who had helped him recover.

He said: “I just want to say a massive thank you to everyone that looked after me and said I could do this thing.

“Less than four months ago I couldn’t even walk, and here I am at the top of Snowdon, which is all down to you guys. The doctors, nurses, physios, everyone that has helped me - I appreciate you so much and I just wanted to let you know that.”

John, of Totley, Sheffield, suffered the stroke, which was caused by a split in a vein, in early March.

He said: “It was the middle of the night and I woke up feeling like my nose was going to explode, and I was going to have a nosebleed. Then it calmed down and I went back to sleep. But in the morning I just could not get out of bed. I was incredibly dizzy and I told my wife to call the ambulance.

“I thought it was vertigo, but I had a scan at the hospital and they told me it could be a stroke. It was a shock because I still think of myself as relatively young and active guy at 58, but I am a very positive person and although I could not sit or stand at that point, I still had my faculties and I felt like I would be ok.”

John was treated by the stroke unit, before going to SPARC for rehabilitation, where he progressed from being weak and unsteady to a point where he was mobile enough to go home. There he continued his rehabilitation with visits from the community stroke team.

Being an active person, who had completed four marathons and 80 half-marathons and was a keen footballer prior to the stroke, he wanted to set himself a challenge as he continued his recovery.

“Climbing Snowdon was one thing I wanted to accomplish,” he said. “It was a challenge, but I thought I am going to get through it and I am going to do it. I feel better when I am doing things.

“I am a very determined person and if I want something I will really push for it. I started out by walking to the local shop, and built up to walking over Blacka Moor to Fox House.

“My son and daughter are back from university for the summer, and they have been rocks in my recovery, they have come on walks with me.
“Having said that, I did Snowdon very much against the wishes of my family! My son was saying ‘you can’t just go and do that’ but they are very proud of me.”

It took John about three hours to ascend the mountain, and two hours to descend.

“It’s very uneven, so I had to get my brain into the right way of thinking,” he said. “The first few steps were the hardest, but once I got over that it became easier. Once I got to the top, I thought ‘great, but now I’ve got to get down again!’”

John said he would not have been able to accomplish the climb without the care and support he had received, and now has another adventure planned in the form of a journey to Japan to watch the Rugby World Cup.

“The treatment and encouragement was brilliant,” he said. “I never thought I would be able to travel to the world cup, but when I spoke to the doctors they said ‘why not go for it?’

“I’m improving all the time and I can’t thank everyone enough.”

Watch John’s video from the top of Snowdon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZ4ZRf_o-MM&feature=youtu.be

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