MUM Louise Plant is taking to the air to raise funds for the charity which helped after her baby daughter suffered a stroke while just hours old.
Louise, 38, is braving the 230-metre Shocktober zipwire challenge from the top of the Tyne Bridge, to raise funds for the Stroke Association and raise awareness of how even the youngest children can be affected.
Louise and partner Mark Willis were completely unprepared for the news of what happened to daughter Emma Rose.
“We thought she had hiccups, her little body was jerking ever so sightly,” said Louise.
A doctor recognised the symptoms and Emma was rushed away.
She was kept in hospital for five days, during which time she underwent an MRI scan.
“It was almost two weeks later that we got the results and they confirmed she had suffered a stroke,” said Louise. “We were devastated.”
Two years on and Emma suffers from focal epilepsy, which causes her to have fits.
Louise and Mark, who also have a son, five-month-old Zach, at their home in Washington’s Teal Farm Village, are waiting to see whether Emma suffers from any other side effects.
“The information they give you is just a list of possible effects,” said Louise. “Emma might have learning or behavioural difficulties.”
Now, Louise is keen to raise awareness of stroke among children. “Like most people, I thought stroke was something that only affected older people,” she said.
“Ever since Emma was born, I’ve been passionate about raising awareness of stroke, especially in young people.
“I started out hoping to raise £500 and so far it’s more than £850.
“We have had such a great response – if I can get it up to more than £1,000, I will be over the moon.”
Janet Price, regional fund-raiser at the Stroke Association, said: “Louise has raised a fantastic amount of money, which will really make a difference to stroke survivors and their families.
To sponsor Louise, visit www.justgiving.com/louise-plant.
To sign up to the Shocktober Zip, visit www.stroke.org.uk/shocktoberzip