Stroke victim shows iron will

Twelve months after she was paralysed and confined to a wheelchair by a severe stroke, Fiona Macleod will mark the end of the most challenging year of her life by walking the 12km HBF Run for a Reason course.

The super-fit 49-year-old started feeling unwell soon after finishing the Busselton half ironman event in a personal best time in May last year, but attributed her terrible headache and blurred vision to exhaustion.

When Ms Macleod started slurring her speech, her husband took her to hospital and within hours she was flown to Perth by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

The stroke left her paralysed on her left side, with a severe facial droop and little speech.

Instead of celebrating her 50th birthday late last year trekking the Inca Trail in Peru as she had planned, Ms Macleod undertook a punishing physical therapy schedule.

The gutsy attitude and willpower that got her through three gruelling triathlons helped her to teach herself to walk again.

"I haven't made a full recovery, but I think I still can," Ms Macleod said.

She hoped that by walking and slowly jogging the Run for a Reason on Sunday she could help raise awareness of the importance of early stroke detection.

"Early detection and treatment means the best chance for recovery," Ms Macleod said.

The West Australian

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