A BISHOPBRIGGS dad who had a stroke at the age of just 21 has raised hundreds of pounds for charity by taking part in the Great Scottish Run.
Barry Docherty was working in a Glasgow shop back in August 2009 when the ordeal unfolded.
He had felt dizzy and took a sneezing fit, then his hand went numb when he tried to write and he found speaking difficult.
Barry was taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary where doctors initially put his symptoms down to stress.
However, the symptoms persisted and later that day he was taken back to hospital where a CT scan confirmed he had suffered a stroke.
In a further blow, Barry was told the stroke was caused due to a small hole in his heart.
He said: “When they said they had found something on the scan, I thought about a pal I had at school who had a brain tumour and died.
“When I had sneezed it increased the pressure in the right chamber of my heart. This pushed a clot through the hole into the left side, which then went into my body and stopped the blood flow to part of my brain.
“I was the youngest person in the stroke ward, the next oldest was a man aged 49.”
Barry, from Bishopbriggs, spent almost two weeks in hospital and had a stent fitted on his heart to cover the hole. He was off work for six months to recover.
Around a quarter of strokes happen in young people.
To raise awareness of the fact that strokes can happen at any age, Barry took part in the Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow recently and raised £350 in sponsorship for The Stroke Association.
Barry (23), who has a two-year-old son, Joshua, said: “Unfortunately, I still find that when people discover what I went through they don’t believe a word of it.”
You can still sponsor Barry by visiting www.justgiving.com/Barry-Docherty