A MAN inspired by his 'determined' father will be taking on the London Marathon on behalf of the Stroke Association.

Peter Hurrell, 24, from Reading, signed up for the challenge after a family trip took a devastating turn which saw his dad Gerry have four strokes in just one week.

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While on a weekend break to Bath, Gerry had a stroke, which left him unable to speak or move his left hand side.

He was rushed to hospital, where doctors used blood thinners to reduce the clots.

Gerry initially recovered quickly following the treatment, but tragically he would go on to have another ischemic stroke the next day and two haemorrhagic strokes days later while still in hospital.

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Gerry had lost use of all his limbs, the ability to eat and drink and couldn't communicate.

He remained in Bath Hospital for several weeks prior to being transferred to a hospital nearer to his home.

This was followed by a further six at a specialist hospital for intensive rehabilitation before being allowed home – thankfully he had no further strokes during this time.

Reading Chronicle:

Peter said: "I think the worst thing about Dad's strokes and the condition in general for us is that you have no time to adjust, things changed literally overnight and we were constantly worried about what would happen next.

"Throughout everything, my Dad has had an inspiring determination to improve his condition.

"This, along with the incredible support of doctors, nurses and physios, to name a few, has led to him being able to walk, talk and eat properly again.

"That being said, there is a long way to go - the Stroke Association has found that survivors only receive around a third of the recommended five sessions each week.

"Almost two-thirds of stroke survivors leave hospital with a disability, therefore access to rehabilitation therapy can be truly life-changing, for them and their families.

"My father and I'm sure many other stroke survivors have resorted to paying privately for therapy as they fear for their future.

"But, rehabilitation therapy is an absolute necessity for stroke recovery, it should not be a luxury available to only those who can afford it."

Gerry said: "Even now, two and a half years later, I still feel improvements are being made.

"I don't think for a second I've finished improving.

"Unfortunately, because of the depressive nature of strokes, I think an awful lot of people give up too easily, too quickly.

"I'm not blaming them but I think they don't have the support network around them, either through family or through physiotherapists - you really need that!"

Abbey Thorogood, Events Officer at the Stroke Association, said: "There are around 100,000 strokes every year in the UK and 1.2 million people are living with the devastating impact of stroke.

"We believe that everyone deserves to live the best life they can after stroke and we’re grateful to Peter for taking on this famous challenge to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

"A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it turns lives upside down.

"However, with the support of people like Peter can help more stroke survivors and their families as they rebuild their lives."

To sponsor Peter, click here.

For more information about stroke and the support services for survivors and carers visit the website or call the Stroke Helpline on 0303 3033 100.