Ul­tra-f it mother ‘crip­pled by hec­tic life­style’

Scottish Daily Mail - - Weekender - By Sam Walker

A FIT­NESS in­struc­tor who lived her life at a hec­tic pace told yes­ter­day how a stroke put her in a wheel­chair.

Run­ner Belinda Gunn, 32, held two jobs and ran 28 classes a week – all while rais­ing two young chil­dren.

But her world turned up­side down in July af­ter a sear­ing headache.

Mrs Gunn’s fam­ily took her to hos­pi­tal where doc­tors di­ag­nosed brain swelling and found that she had suf­fered a stroke.

She had surgery to re­lieve the pres­sure and has been in Raig­more Hos­pi­tal, In­ver­ness, for nine weeks. Now she hopes phys­io­ther­apy can help lead her to­wards full re­cov­ery – and is speak­ing out to

‘First they thought it was a mi­graine’

warn that her ill­ness was prob­a­bly brought on by ‘never stop­ping’.

She said from her hos­pi­tal bed: ‘It puts ev­ery­thing into per­spec­tive. I have al­ways been so busy.’

The mother, de­scribed by friends as a ‘su­per­woman’, be­gan to feel un­well on her clean­ing round at a church near her house in In­ver­ness. She ig­nored the pain and drove her­self home to take a nap.

Her hus­band Allan, 38, and their chil­dren Cameron, seven, and Ella, nine, re­alised some­thing was se­ri­ously wrong when she woke up later that evening and be­gan to make break­fast.

Mr Gunn said. ‘I knew straight away. She asked Cameron if he wanted break­fast and she kept drop­ping things.

‘I called for an am­bu­lance but at first even they thought it was just a mi­graine.’ A scan re­vealed the true ex­tent of the dam­age and Mrs Gunn has not been able to walk since.

As she waits for an op­er­a­tion to have a metal plate fit­ted in her skull, she is rais­ing money to fund pri­vate phys­io­ther­apy and adap­ta­tions to her home, helped by her cousin Eileen An­der­son who has set up a crowd­fund­ing page.

She added: ‘I said to my cousin, “let me wake up from this night­mare, and tell me this has all just been a bad dream”. I feel happy with the fundrais­ing but sad that I can’t do any­thing for these peo­ple right now.’

‘I just want to be mo­bile and in­de­pen­dent again. It is so un­com­fort­able sit­ting in a wheel­chair all day. How­ever, I can’t risk fall­ing un­til I have the op­er­a­tion.’

Known to fam­ily as ‘Lindi’, she be­lieves the high-blood pres­sure con­di­tion eclamp­sia in preg­nancy left her prone to a stroke.

Mrs An­der­son wrote on the crowd­fund­ing page: ‘Lindi was one of the health­i­est peo­ple I know and this could hap­pen to any one of us. As a mother I can only imag­ine the hell of be­ing sep­a­rated from your kids for that long, as well as how lonely and bor­ing it gets stuck in hos­pi­tal.

‘Lindi was al­ways do­ing fundrais­ing classes and try­ing to help oth­ers get fit and maybe in re­turn we can help her get fit.’

The tar­get of 100 hours of pri­vate phys­io­ther­apy at £45 an hour has al­ready been smashed.

Now her fam­ily hope to con­tinue the cam­paign to fund the al­ter­ations at home. Ness Bank Church, where she worked, also or­gan­ised a col­lec­tion.

‘Headache’: Mrs Gunn tried to sleep it off

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