THIS time last year Lucy Mander suffered a stroke at the age of just 23.

Now she is embarking on two challenges to raise money for the unit which helped her recover.

Lucy will take part in the Bournemouth Pier to Pier swim on July 13 – almost a year to the day after she suffered a stroke.

She then plans to run the Bournemouth half-marathon on October 5, with all her fund-raising proceeds going to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s stroke unit.

Lucy was with friends in Bath last year when she suffered a stroke. She was admitted to hospital there before returning to Bournemouth.

A few weeks later she was admitted to RBH having experienced the same symptoms.

Lucy said: “My parents live in Hertfordshire so were unable to get to the hospital the first night but the nurses were so comforting until they arrived the following day. I’m so grateful to those that helped me, especially during that first night.

“Having a stroke was terrifying but the care and support I received at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital was outstanding.

“All the staff were fantastic and made me feel comfortable throughout all the procedures, some of which were obviously quite scary and unpleasant.

“But the way I was treated helped me through. I’m hoping to raise lots of money for the hospital – it’s my way of saying thank you for helping me and giving something back.”

Lindsey Sturman, fundraising manager, said: “Having a stroke at any age is a life-changing experience but to take something so positive out of such a frightening experience is truly inspirational.

“We are delighted that the care Lucy received while she was in hospital was so good that it inspired her to take up these challenges and we are thrilled that the proceeds will come back to the hospital and go towards the care of others.

“We wish Lucy the best of luck for her challenges and hope her story inspires others.”

You can support Lucy with her challenges via