Orlah - stroke survivor

A four-year-old stroke survivor from Nantwich has completed an amazing 26-mile challenge to raise charity funds.

Big-hearted Orlah Maudsley, from Barbridge, completed the final mile of her challenge on Thursday at Calveley Primary Academy near Nantwich.

And she was joined by her fellow classmates to celebrate her achievement while wearing purple to show their support for the Stroke Association.

She has raised an amazing £1,741 for the charity so far.

Her stroke left her unable to use the left side of her body.

This means she now struggles to walk and does not have full movement in her left hand.

However, the brave youngster was determined to complete a “virtual three peaks challenge” after being inspired by Sir Captain Tom.

Orlah’s mother, Heidi Maudsley said: “After she was born, Orlah started having seizures, so doctors performed tests to determine the cause.

“It was then that we were told that Orlah had had a stroke.

“Doctors think it was due to two very small arteries in her brain.

“Orlah’s stroke left her with hemiplegia on her left side and she wears a splint on her leg, as well as using a wheelchair, and her left hand is in a fist most of the time.

“But she is building up her walking; she’s very independent and always wants to try and do things for herself.

“In fact, she gets cross if anyone tries to do things for her!”

Orlah is a pupil at Calveley Primary where Heidi also works as a Teaching Assistant in her class.

Headteacher Beverley Dolman set a virtual challenge to encourage pupils to walk 26 miles in total during lockdown, as a motivation to get outside and enjoy exercise.

Heidi added: “When Orlah saw Sir Captain Tom taking part in his walking challenge, she said she wanted to raise money for charity and the Stroke Association seemed the perfect choice.

“We want to raise money to help other families affected by stroke get the support they need to rebuild their lives.”

Stroke - Orlah and Heidi
Orlah and Heidi

Orlah did around half a mile each day with a combination of walking and in her wheelchair or buggy.

“Orlah is a super star, she really is.

“She had achieved so much with her true grit and determination. She’s such an inspiration, to me and so many others.”

Emma Kay, fundraiser at the Stroke Association, said: “We know how tough life has been recently.

“This is especially true for the 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK right now.

“While we aren’t able to meet up as we would like, Orlah is doing something amazing and proving that you can rebuild your life after stroke.

“She is such an inspiration and clearly a very determined, brave little lady.

“A stroke can happen to anyone at any time and it turns lives upside down.

“However, with the support of people like Orlah and Heidi we can help more stroke survivors and their families as they look to rebuild their lives. We are so incredibly grateful.

“If you’re feeling inspired by Orlah, you can sign up to our Stride for Stroke challenge and walk 1.2 million steps, which is one step for every stroke survivor in the UK and help raise crucial funds to rebuild lives after stroke.”

For more information and to sign up to this year’s Stride for Stroke, visit https://www.stroke.org.uk/webform/stride-for-stroke

Orlah - stroke walk

Orlah and Olly on final mile
Orlah and friend Olly on final mile

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