Ultra-f it mother ‘crippled by hectic lifestyle’
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