Five-year-old Derbyshire boy runs 5k to raise cash for charity after dad suffers a stroke
A five-year-old boy has completed a 5k run to raise money for charity after his dad suffered a stroke.
Stanley Redfern covered the distance around his hometown of Matlock to raise over £1,300 for the Stroke Association as part of the couch to 5k challenge.
The youngster was just two-years-old when his dad Joe suffered a serious stroke while the family were on holiday in Corfu in October 2017, leaving him unable to speak or use the right side of his body.
Within hours, he was transferred to a hospital on mainland Greece and the following day family members travelled over from England to help.
Stanley and his brother Reggie, then just five months old, were taken home while their mum Lydia stayed in Greece where doctors confirmed Joe’s stroke was caused by a hole in his heart, which he had been unaware of.
Speaking of the past three years, Lydia said: “Until coronavirus it’s been a lot of hospital appointments, speech therapy, physiotherapy. Joe’s speech is a lot better than it was but it’s still quite affected. His movement has been severely affected as well, he still can’t really use his right hand very well.
"He’s also been part of a trial at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield where he had a vagal nerve stimulator put in, that was in August 2019, and he switches that on with a magnet and it’s supposed to give a signal to a nerve in the neck in hopes it will help his arm by re-awakening the brain.
"He used to be a stonemason so has been trying to get back to that and he’s been able to do a little bit of stonemasonery recently which is really exciting but not like he did before.”
The family became involved with the Stroke Association while in Greece after Lydia reached out for help and advice.
Since then, the charity has been on hand to offer support – helping them gain access to benefits and even support grants to help financially while Joe has been unable to work due to his illness.
Over the years both Lydia and Joe have taken part in various fundraising efforts for the Stroke Association and had planned on running the London Marathon for the charity last year, however this was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Lydia said Stanley was inspired to do his own fundraising after joining her on the couch to 5k – a programme designed to help beginners gradually build up their running ability so they can eventually run the final distance without stopping.
The proud mum added: "He just said mummy we can run for the stroke people so it was his idea.
"Six months after Joe’s stroke we decided to get a puppy because we were at home so we got a little whippet but, the day after, Stan broke his leg and had to be in hospital for four weeks.
"So actually because he broke his leg it’s amazing that he’s even been able to do this run.”
For more information or to donate to the family’s fundraising efforts visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/majorstroketomarathon.