Bermondsey stroke victim to attempt mini-triathlon to fundraise for charity which helped her rehab

A woman left paralysed from the waist down by a stroke a year ago will attempt a mini triathlon with her trainer to raise funds for the charity which is helping her rehab.

Jo Williams, 33, from Bermondsey, a client at a spinal cord injury rehabilitation centre near Gatwick, is in training for the Superhero Tri on August 17.

The rehab hub is staging the event at Dorney Lake in Windsor., and it describes as ‘the UK’s only disability sports series for the Everyday Superhero’.

Jo was diagnosed with Hydrocephalus – water on the brain – at the age of two.

She had a lumbar shunt fitted to drain fluid from her brain and has since had two further operations – one at 15 to correct severe scoliosis, the spine curvature which affected Richard II.

The second was at 22 to re-fit the shunt.

She still managed to go to university and do lots of horse riding and running.

But Jo started to suffer from severe headaches in April last year – then she had the spinal stroke which left her paralysed from the waist down.

She was first treated in Kings College Hospital before being moved to The National Spinal Injuries Centre, Stoke Mandeville to start her rehab.

She heard about Neurokinex there – and started attending in October 2018.

Jo is successfully increasing her arm strength and core stability plus improving her balance through Neurokinex’s pioneering active rehabilitation and electrical muscle stimulation sessions.

Jo is taking on the Superhero Tri challenge thanks to the support of her Neurokinex trainer Rocky Addison and the team. The Superhero Tri organisers welcome people of all ages with all disabilities. They promise that any special equipment can be used, full support will be given and there are no cut-off times or limitations.

Neurokinex is asking clients, their families and friends to take part in each solo attempt, as a ‘side-kick’.
Jo said: “This will be a huge challenge but I’m looking forward to this event as it has been created specifically to welcome people with disabilities. It’s a great opportunity to get back into competitive sport on a more level playing field.

“Neurokinex has helped me so much since I was discharged from Stoke Mandeville and the Superhero Tri event is a great opportunity for me to give back by taking part and raising awareness for the charity.”

The Superhero Tri gives participants a choice of three distances and three ways to complete the challenges – solo (Flying Solo), in pairs (Sidekick) or in a team of three (Team Up):

The Sprint Superhero Tri distance is a 150m swim, 3k cycle and 1K run.
The Half Superhero Tri distance is a 400m swim, 10k cycle and 2.5k run.
The Full Superhero Tri distance is a 750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run.

Jo will be taking on the Half Superhero Tri with her trainer Rocky Addison, who will be taking on the swim part of the challenge on Jo’s behalf.

Neurokinex is seeking more individuals and teams to sign up alongside its clients, staff and friends to raise vital funds for the Trust and will provide places in the tri free of charge. To find out more or to offer your support as a sidekick or team member, contact kate.thornton-jones@neurokinex.org

To support Jo’s effort please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jo-williamslondon

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