Stroke survivor to cycle 500 miles

Stroke survivor to cycle 500 miles

A Dunloy man who survived a series of strokes has begun his latest challenge, cycling 500 miles across Northern Ireland.

Raymond Kelly had to learn to speak again after suffering six strokes, and has no feeling down his right side.

He told UTV: "It stopped my life and my family's life too. It was a very dark time for me and my family but thank God I'm better now, not great, but I'm better."

Raymond has previously climbed Everest base camp for charity, and on Wednesday he began a 500m cycle throughout NI.

That means five days on a bicycle, eight hours each day, and on Saturday, Raymond plans to climb seven mountain peaks in the Mournes.

"There is life after a stroke. Sometimes it's not big things, but you can do something and hopefully help yourself. A stroke does not stop your life," he explained.

More than 30,000 people in the region are living with the effects of a stroke, but Raymond believes his life has improved.

"My life is better now after my stroke, I think. Before it was just work, work, work. I had no time for my wife, my children," he said.

Now he is raising money for other people who have also suffered the condition.

Tom Richardson from the Stroke Association said Raymond has come through very difficult times.

He said: "Raymond is an absolute inspiration. He's climbed up the base camp Everest, from a fundraising point of view for us as well but not only that, that did a lot for his own confidence and well being.

"Now with this challenge, I'm absolutely flummoxed by it... The challenge is huge," Mr Richardson added.


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