Stephen Hill (70) is one of our STROKE Health Integration Team (HIT) Co-Directors and lead for public involvement in research. He is also a public contributor on the Bristol Health Partners executive committee.
Stephen is a stroke survivor who defied the odds and his disability to climb 26 steps during the 2.6 challenge for the local charity Bristol After Stroke that helped and supported him during his recovery. He now intends to continue his challenge and walk the 75 steps up the bell tower at Siston Court and ring the bell when we clap for the NHS this Thursday (7 May 2020).
Stephen had been told he would never be able to climb steps again.
In 2015, he suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, that came completely out of nowhere, and so severely affected his whole left side, that he couldn’t walk. Then last year, a spinal problem, paralysed his right leg and he has been in a wheelchair struggling to get mobile again.
Living at Siston Court - the 75-step spiral staircase leading up to the 500-year-old bell tower has been the focus of Stephen’s challenges.
For the 2.6 Challenge Stephen climbed 26 steps setting a modest target of raising £100, and has so far raised over £1,300. Inspired by his success, he will now attempt to climb the steps and ring the Siston Court bell in tribute to the NHS and other key workers.
Rebecca Sheehy, CEO of Bristol After Stroke said “We are so grateful to Stephen for his huge determination and support, he truly is an inspiration to us all. The call for our services has never been greater and we want to continue to help the stroke affected now and in the long term."
Stephen who has since his stroke has become a Volunteer and Trustee for Bristol After Stroke said: “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to local charity, Bristol After Stroke, which came to help in those very dark days immediately after I was stricken. In particular they attended me in hospital, and they organised a rehabilitation course called Next Steps, a combination of appropriate group physiotherapy and talks about important things that new stroke survivors and their families need to know.
This challenge has proven to be a rare and precious opportunity for me to do something to make a difference without even leaving Siston.”
To help Stephen continue to raise funds to support this worthwhile local cause, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stephen-s-2-6-challenge181
Listen to Stephen talk about his 75-step challenge on 7 May on BBC Radio Bristol Breakfast: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p08b4h0w - bbc.co.uk – © 2020 BBC Stephen's interview with Emma Britton begins at 2:25:20 and the clip is available on BBC Sounds for the next 30 days.
Stephen pictured outside the bell tower at Siston Court and at home (below).