AN EASTLEIGH dad is to take on a biking challenge after his family's life was "turned upside down."

Robert Smith, 61 from Eastleigh is taking on the Stroke Associations Escape the City Bike Ride on September 30, after his son Adam survived a stroke at just 33-years-old.

Adam, a dad of two from Winchester, took part in a charity boxing match last September.

Two weeks later he had two strokes.

Robert said: “Adam’s strokes came from a trauma injury to the carotid artery to the left side of his neck which caused a blood clot. When Adam had the strokes, he couldn’t move the right side of his body and lost his sight. When we arrived at hospital, consultants prepared us for the worst.

"I want to raise awareness that it’s not only older people who suffer strokes but many young people as well. 

“Adam received thrombectomy, a pioneering stroke treatment that physically removes the clot. Thankfully this was successful, but Adam’s brain was still damaged severely in three areas. Adam now lives with a speech condition called aphasia, and he also struggles with his cognition and fatigue.

“I wanted to take part in the Stroke Association’s Escape the City bike ride to help raise awareness and vital funds for the charity. The Stroke Association were an incredible support to the family and Adam after his stroke. The work they do is so important and a vital part to someone’s recovery. I hope to raise awareness of how easy people’s life’s can be turned upside down by this condition.

“Whilst training I can feel in myself I’m getting fitter and also losing weight. I’ve built my stamina up to 17 miles at the moment and will be tackling 20 miles next month. I’m really looking forward to the day, and will be proud when I touch the finish line.”

Escape the City Bike Ride is a new event by the Stroke Association which will start at Chiswick and has a circular route.

Participants can take part in a 30, 60 or 80 mile route, leading cyclists from the city along Surrey's quiet, scenic country lanes.

Emma Evans, Events Manager at the Stroke Association, said: “A stroke can happen to anyone at any age, at any time and it turns lives upside down. It’s the fourth biggest killer in the in the UK and a leading cause of disability.

“We’re thrilled Robert is taking on this challenge to raise vital funds for the Stroke Association and we’re looking forward to cheering him on as he makes his way through London and Surrey. Around 1.2 million people in the UK are living with the devastating impact of stroke. With the support of people like Robert we can help more stroke survivors and their families rebuild their lives.”

To sponsor Robert, please visit: