Paul taking part in the Liverpool RnR Marathon

Dad paralysed during Parkrun and given 30% chance of survival learns to walk again

Paul defied the odds to walk a mile for The Brain Charity - raising nearly £2,000

A dad who was given a 30% chance of survival after a brain aneurysm ruptured during a Parkrun has defied the odds to walk a mile for The Brain Charity

Paul Ives, 54, was paralysed down his left side after suffering a subarachnoid haemorrhage in January 2020 while completing the 5km fun run.

Last October, the dad-of-two walked the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll mile to raise nearly £2,000 for The Brain Charity.

Former town planner Paul, from Medway, Kent, said: “I was running a 5km Parkrun in January 2020, got one lap round and went to speed up but my body wouldn’t move.

“I got to the half way point, met my wife Toni and had to lie on the ground.

“I was rushed to hospital, where Toni was told I had a 70% chance of dying.

“When I look back, I’m frustrated I can’t do more but so proud of how far I’ve come.

“For me it’s about enjoying the fact I’m still here and able to keep going.”

Paul and the ,Medway Rebel Runners after completing the race
Paul and his support team from the Medway Rebel Runners after completing the race

Paul underwent a life-saving craniotomy operation after his subarachnoid haemorrhage, but lost the use of his left side due to the bleeding on his brain.

He was transferred to a local rehabilitation unit for 12 weeks of intensive physiotherapy and was one of the last patients to be accepted before the UK went into lockdown due to COVID-19 last March.

Paul said: “The hardest thing was not being able to see family on a regular basis.

“My sense of humour is what got me through – I approach every day as it comes.”

Paul before his brain haemorrhage
Paul enjoyed running challenges before his subarachnoid haemorrhage

Paul has run 15 marathons in his lifetime and has completed the Liverpool Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon three times.

He hopes eventually to regain fitness to the point where he is able to jog again.

Paul said: “I said right from the start I would treat the recovery as a marathon, and I still have good days and bad days.

“It’s difficult when you have a brain injury, as you find it harder to process your emotions and talk to others.

“That’s why I’m supporting The Brain Charity, as they help people recovering with the practical things but emotional support too.”

Paul's wife Toni and son Liam completing the Cambridge Half-Marathon for The Brain Charity
Paul’s son Liam and wife Toni completing the Cambridge Half-Marathon for The Brain Charity

Toni and son Liam also ran the Cambridge Half Marathon and Liverpool Half Marathon in aid of The Brain Charity.

Together, the determined family have raised nearly £2,000 for the charity, which supports people with all forms of neurological condition.

Toni said: “Paul has had an incredible journey and has been determined to gain as much fitness back as he can – going from being paralysed on his left side to being able to walk a mile.”

Paul in his Brain Charity T-shirt
Paul proudly wearing his Brain Charity T-shirt

Tui Benjamin, Head of Fundraising at The Brain Charity, said: “Paul’s dedication to his recovery a time when he was forced to take on this challenge without the physical presence of his family due to the lockdowns is extraordinary.

“His tenacity and determination is inspirational and we are so honoured he and his family have chosen to support The Brain Charity.”

Click here to support the Ives family’s fundraising for The Brain Charity.

Categories: Fundraising, Real life stories

Published: 4 October 2022