A Royal Marine who suffered a stroke at the age of 39 is hoping to inspire others by tackling the Bupa Great South Run.
Warrant officer Simon Tripp’s world was turned upside down four years ago when an arterial dissection in his neck left him hospitalised in a stroke unit.
The Royal Marines bandmaster has been left with a slight tremor down one side of his body but says the experience of seeing other stroke victims in ‘a far worse condition’ made him eager to help.
Now, as the 43-year-old from Lee-on-the-Solent prepares for his second Bupa Great South Run this Sunday, he is keen to raise money for the Stoke Association and show there can be life for those affected by the condition.
‘I was only 39 and was probably the youngest guy on my ward,’ said Simon.
‘Having been in the marines for more than 20 years, I was pretty fit anyway so it was a bit of a shock.
‘We still don’t know what caused it but I look at the positives from it.
‘You don’t appreciate how your life can change in an instant until you find yourself in that situation.
‘There were many on my ward in a far worse condition than me. You saw the harsh realities of what a stroke can do.
‘There was a lot of people who were confused, not sure of their surroundings. It was really sad to see and made me determined to help.’
Simon added: ‘I aim to raise £500 this year which I hope can be used to provide more information about strokes.
‘A lot has been done to raise awareness of how to spot signs of a stroke but the more information that can be put out there for support and advice, the better.
‘The Stroke Association was a huge help and I want to help others realise that there can be life after a stroke.’
While life as a marine meant fitness has always been important to Simon, his recovery from a stroke stepped up his love of running.
‘It definitely got me out more,’ said the married father-of-two.
‘There’s nothing like those endorphins that you get from exercise.
‘Ten miles in the Great South Run is certainly a challenge but I’m looking forward to my second one.
‘The stroke was a life-changing situation for me and I think I’ve been able to draw plenty of positives from it.’