Olivia’s tribute to her beloved grandfather

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Olivia El-Attar (21) knows first-hand the harrowing 
consequences of a stroke.

The young local woman raised the alarm when her grandfather suffered the devastating “brain attack” at his home.

She then witnessed the 
enormous impact it had on him and her family when he was treated at hospital.

Sadly, Amir El-Attar, who was a surgeon, passed away in June last year at the age 
of 88.

Olivia, from Strathblane, made a decision this New Year to honour his memory by taking part in a charity Resolution Run in aid of the Stroke Association on March 10 at Glasgow Green in Glasgow.

Olivia said: “My grandfather worked hard all his life. He came over to the UK at the age of 17 from Egypt, not knowing a word of English and without any qualifications.

“He studied extremely hard and gained a degree in medicine and dentistry and eventually became a surgeon at Canniesburn Hospital.”

Olivia said her grandfather dedicated his life to the NHS.

She added: “I am proud to be running in the Resolution Run in memory of my grandfather. It’s heart-breaking to see the effects of a stroke affecting a member of your family.

“My grandfather’s stroke affected his ability to swallow, eat, drink and his mobility. He was also confused at times, which was hard to see as a family member.

“I don’t really like running, but I think it’s important for people to know about stroke and be aware of how devastating it can be.”

Angela Macleod, communications manager at the Stroke Association, said: “A Resolution Run is exactly that – a resolution for the New Year that counts. It’s the ideal event for people in who want to do something fun together, while getting more active in 2019.

“In Scotland there are over 13,000 strokes every year. Our latest research shows that by training and taking part in a Resolution Run, you are helping to lower your stroke risk.

“The funds raised by each runner means we can reach out to more stroke survivors and their families to offer the support that they may need to rebuild their lives.

“On behalf of the thousands of stroke survivors and their loved ones that we support every year, I just want to say thank you.”

Research from the charity shows that many strokes could be prevented if people made some simple lifestyle changes.

Introducing physical activity into your routine is just one aspect of a healthier lifestyle required to reduce your risk of stroke.

Monitoring (and managing) your blood pressure, eating a more balanced diet and stopping smoking can all significantly reduce your stroke risk.

The money raised through the Resolution Run will help the Stroke Association to fund vital research.

Entry fee is £16. All runners receive a running t-shirt and medal. For more on entering or volunteering, visit www.resolutionrun.org.uk email resolution@stroke.org.uk or call 0300 330 0740.