Personal trainer Glen Eastick, who was 33 at the time, was preparing lunch when he lost the use of one of his arms for 10 seconds.
He ‘didn’t think anything of it,’ putting it down to a potential trapped nerve and went into an online training session with a client.
It was then that he started to struggle to talk.
‘My body was fine,’ he said.
‘I had a dumb bell in my hand. But I wasn’t able to talk.
‘My client was asking: “Are you OK?” but I couldn’t answer.’
Luckily Glen’s girlfriend Bex had just come home and called an ambulance, which took him to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
Glen, now 35, said: ‘When I first got to hospital they thought it was probably just a migraine as I was very young.’
He was kept in overnight and a scan the next day revealed he had suffered a stroke.
Coincidentally, the stroke specialty doctor who then treated Glen was James Becket – one of his personal fitness clients.
After the scan Glen was thrombolysed – meaning he was given special drugs to dissolve the clot which was blocking the blood supply and killing cells in his brain.
Later, doctors found that his stroke was caused by a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a hole in the heart, which allowed clots to travel between the chambers of his heart and up to his brain.
Last year he had an operation to close this hole at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Now Glen is backing the Stroke Association’s call for more research as data shows that annually, only 1.2 per cent of research budgets (around £30m) are spent on stroke, compared with 14.8 per cent (approximately £400m) on cancer despite the fact there are 1.3 million people living with the effects of stroke in the UK and 2.5 million living with cancer.
‘I’ve been very fortunate to make a good recovery but other aren’t so fortunate which is why research is so important,’ said Glen.
‘I think research into PFOs or why blood tends to clot more in some people than others may help. I also believe that research into medication could be done more as I am on the drug clopidogrel at the moment. I am taking it, but the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life doesn’t fill me with joy.
‘As a personal trainer I specialise with people in health conditions such as MS and stroke so I know all about them but never thought it would happen to me.’
Bex, his girlfriend and mother to their 23-old-daughter Evie, added: ‘When I came back I wouldn’t have necessarily have thought it was a stroke because it wasn’t the classic symptoms you hear about – from FAST – it wasn’t like that.’
Since his surgery in 2021 Glen is proud to be fighting fit, and beat his 10k personal best for running just three months later.
And in October this year he will be competing in the Great South Run to raise money for the Stroke Association. To donate visit: tinyurl.com/3bdfts4y.