From stroke to half marathon in a year

2 MINUTE READ

Lacking motivation? COVID getting you down? Let Jackson Flinn be your inspiration.

On 19th August last year, at the age of 35, the father-of-five suffered a stroke at the gym, leaving him in hospital for eight weeks. The Fonterra Hamilton IT team member had to learn to walk, talk and even swallow again. But he was determined to push himself to recover, taking over his own post-hospital rehabilitation and getting out on the footpath to run. He says fatigue, balance and co-ordination were a challenge, and still are, but each day he made more progress. And exactly a year to the day after his stroke, he celebrated by doing what many people couldn’t believe he could and ran a half marathon.

“I thought I should aim for something significant. I’d been planning to do the Tauranga half, but COVID put a stop to that. So, I just decided to do it anyway, by myself. It was a good goal to accomplish.”

From the very start he’s filmed his recovery journey, so that, “if someone is in the same position, I hope it can help,” he says. “What I’m trying to get across is that even if your life is different it can still be rewarding, and your brain is capable of a lot if you stretch it!”

So many people from work came to visit me in hospital, they babysat for us, and brought us food. They held a BBQ fundraiser at work for me too. We were blown away with the support. They really rallied around.

Jackson Flin

Post Stroke Half Marathon: Challenge Yourself!

I celebrated my 1 year since stroke anniversary by running a half marathon. If you've had a stroke, your life is not over!

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Jackson has a special thank you to his friends and colleagues at Fonterra, saying he was overwhelmed by the support from his London St colleagues.

“You think we’re part of a big company and they wouldn’t care, but Fonterra really looked after me.” he says. “So many people from work came to visit me in hospital, they babysat for us, and brought us food. They held a BBQ fundraiser at work for me too. We were blown away with the support. They really rallied around.”

His workmate Stephen Taylor started a Givealittle page to help support Jackson’s family while he recovered in hospital - it raised over $21,000. A year on, Stephen says Jackson’s recovery is “pretty astounding really. He’s always pushing himself.”

Since January, Jackson’s been back at work full time and while pushing through the fatigue, wobbly balance and slurred speech are still a daily challenge, he’s grateful to his family – immediate and Fonterra – for helping to get him to where he is now.

“It’s not the end.”

If you want to read more about Jackson Flinn in the Waikato Times, read here.