Richard made it down the aisle de­spite a stroke. Now can he be king of the hills?

Ex-foot­baller to tackle one of Scot­land’s tough­est marathons 10 years on from life-chang­ing ill­ness

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - Advice - Mur­ray Scougall MSCOUGALL@SUN­DAY­POST.COM

YOUR wed­ding day is one of the most spe­cial mo­ments in your life.

But there was ex­tra poignancy for Richard Edge as he walked down the aisle to marry his sweet­heart, Lisa.

As he took those steps un­aided, it marked a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in his re­cov­ery from a near-fa­tal brain haem­or­rhage.

“We were sup­posed to be mar­ried in De­cem­ber but had to push it back to April,” ex­plained Richard.

“It was only the week be­fore the resched­uled date that I was able to throw away the sticks and walk down the aisle un­aided.”

Pri­mary school PE teacher Richard had been with a class six months ear­lier when he be­gan to feel very ill.

He had been strug­gling for a few days and ini­tially put it down to a han­gover, but as he stood in the play­ground of Cad­don­foot Pri­mary in Galashiels he re­alised it was much more than that.

Mo­ments later he was on the ground, hav­ing suf­fered a sub­arach­noid haem­or­rhage – an un­com­mon type of stroke caused by bleed­ing on the sur­face of the brain.

He would spend the next 12 days in a med­i­cally-in­duced coma.

Richard was just 26 at the time, a keen foot­baller and phys­i­cally fit.

“I had been feel­ing un­well for a cou­ple of days, maybe a week,” he re­called.

“I’d played in the Scot­tish Cup for Vale of Leven on the Satur­day and felt I did OK.

“I went out after the game and I wasn’t feel­ing great on Sun­day or Mon­day, but it felt like han­gover symp­toms.

“While I was out with the class on Tues­day, I started to lose con­trol of my voice and then my arms and legs be­gan to give way.

“I managed to get the kids in­side, but by the time the head teacher came out I was on the ground. The last thing I re­mem­ber is be­ing taken to hos­pi­tal.”

Medics re­moved part of Richard’s skull at the back of his head to re­lieve the pres­sure on his brain.

“They didn’t re­place it,” Richard con­tin­ued. “They said it would just harden over time, which it has.

“There were no block­ages found, so they thought it might just have been a blood cap­sule.”

By the time Richard woke up from the coma he had lost nearly two stones through mus­cle wastage and his speech was gone, his vision was poor and he couldn’t walk.

It was going to be a tough road back to health.

He was trans­ferred from the West­ern Gen­eral in Ed­in­burgh to the city’s Ast­ley Ainslie Hos­pi­tal, where he would spend the next two months.

“I had to re­ally push the re­hab, but ev­ery­one there was so sup­port­ive. It gave me a real im­pe­tus to get bet­ter.”

This month marks 10 years since the near-fa­tal in­ci­dent and life is good for the 36-year-old.

He now teaches at Pri­ors­ford Pri­mary in his home­town of Pee­bles and he and Lisa have two daugh­ters – six-year-old Elsie and Emily, four.

Al­though he no longer plays football, Richard is still ac­tive and en­joys run­ning. To mark the decade since his ill­ness, he’s tak­ing part in the gru­elling off-road Glen­coe Marathon to­day to raise funds for Ed­in­burgh and Loth­i­ans Health Foun­da­tion.

He added: “Train­ing has gone well and I’m look­ing for­ward to seeing my fam­ily at the fin­ish­ing line. It was un­likely I would par­tic­i­pate in sport again after the haem­or­rhage, so I want to raise money for the amaz­ing hos­pi­tal that has helped me to do just that.”

To spon­sor Richard, visit my­do­nate. bt.com/fundrais­ers/richard­edge1

Richard Edge, right, will run the gru­elling Glen­coe Marathon to­day after bat­tling back to health

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