Stroke survivor Ollie, 7, leads way with Carwyn for charity
A LITTLE boy who suffered a devastating stroke aged three has launched a charity walk alongside the First Minister.
Seven-year-old Ollie Shearan was only three when he suffered the stroke a which left him “like a newborn baby again”.
After being airlifted to hospital, his parents were told he might not make it through the night, but the little boy from Caerau eventually pulled through and has been making “remarkable” progress.
On Sunday, May 20, Ollie sounded the horn for the Step Out for Stroke mile-long walk in Bridgend, where he was met by First Minister Carwyn Jones.
Ollie’s mum Nicola said: “After the stroke he was like a newborn baby again. But he began holding his head up on his own and steadily learned to eat and talk. It was really special when he was able to say ‘Mam’ again.
“He’s a completely different child now – just like a normal seven-year-old cheeky little boy, running round having fun.
“This is our third Step Out. It helps us meet other people in a similar situation. Although Ollie is normally the youngest it’s nice for people to come together and feel like a family.”
Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones has attended the Step Out for Stroke event for the last few years.
He said: “As one who’s had stroke in the family – my father had a stroke, although he’s fine now, and two members of the family died from stroke – I’m really happy to support this as it’s so important.
“It was also great to start Step Out off with Ollie, who was so happy to do it. It showed that stroke is something which can affect someone, whatever their age. Ollie’s an exam- ple of that and he’s fought back.”
Margaret Street, director of the Stroke Association in Wales, said: “We’re delighted with the turnout and money raised. Big thank you to the local community who really helped us to make this an event to remember and we’re very grateful to everyone for their support.
“A stroke can happen to anyone, at any age, at any time and it changes lives in an instant. For many stroke survivors Step Out for Stroke marks an important milestone in their road to recovery and seeing them take on this challenge was truly inspirational. Everyone who took part has helped raise vital funds for people affected by stroke.”
Carwyn Jones pictured with Ollie Shearan at the Step Out for Stroke walk
Ollie with his family