Pals rally for brave Mark

sp91141 Marc and Amy Ellis with Lola  Stroke Victim Danesmoor
sp91141 Marc and Amy Ellis with Lola Stroke Victim Danesmoor

Mark Ellis – who was struck by a devastating stroke at just 22 – has had a rollercoaster year.

Only days after becoming a father the newlywed was left imprisoned inside his own body, unable to move or communicate apart from rolling his eyes up and down.

Brave Mark battled back from the brink of death to return home in March, inspired by the love of wife Amy and baby daughter Lola-Rose, who he is learning to walk alongside as she takes her first steps.

And now big-hearted friends are fundraising to send the family on a dream first holiday as they mark one year since the stroke turned their lives upside down.

“They’ve had such a hard time of it”, said organiser Gill Waters.

“It would be an absolute dream to get them away to some sunshine.”

A fundraiser with star raffle, karaoke and entertainment will help raise cash for the family’s trip.

Teens Tom Fenton and Josh Loughery are also cycling 80 miles from Hebden Bridge to the event in Clay Cross, where the Ellis moved to a specially adapted bungalow.

“I was overwhelmed that two 14-year-old boys would do this,” said Mark’s wife Amy, 31, who has dedicated her life to his long recovery.

“They’ve only met Mark a couple of times, once before the stroke and once after, and the difference must have had such an impact on them.”

Raising £2,000 would send the family on a holiday with Enable, which specialises in disabled holidays.

Amy, of Penistone Gardens, Danesmoor, added: “They even have pool hoists so Mark can get in the pool, he doesn’t feel like he’s got to sit out while everyone else has fun.

“Life still isn’t easy, we are ready for a break now.”

Doctors described Mark’s case - caused by a deadly blood clot in his brain stem - as the worst they’d ever seen in someone so young. It is hoped the event will also raise awareness. Said Amy: “We want people to understand it’s not the end of everything, you can carry on.”

The event takes place at Charlie’s Bar, Clay Cross, from 1pm on Bank Holiday Monday August 29. Raffle prizes include Chesterfield FC tickets, hair styling and beauty vouchers.