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Inspirational Norwich man takes next step up his personal 'Everest'

A man who was given just 48 hours to live after a stroke on board a flight from Australia, is climbing one of the Derbyshire peaks on Saturday (1 June) ...

Inspirational Norwich man Eddie Pleban, who fought back from paralysis and being given just 48 hours to live by doctors after suffering a stroke during a flight from Australia, is set for another landmark in his remarkable recovery. He will be attempting to climb his own ‘Everest’ – Mam Tor in Derbyshire on Saturday (1 June). Keith Morris reports for Network Norwich & Norfolk ...

Former Housing Services Manager Eddie has made a remarkable recovery from the debilitating stroke which left him paralysed below the neck and unable to breathe for himself, swallow or talk for several months.
 
From being on a ventilator in a Dubai hospital and then being medically evacuated to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital, Eddie fought for his life during a courageous eight-month battle. He returned to his home and devoted wife Jeannie on Colman Road in Norwich almost two years ago, and has been inspiring family, friends and medical staff ever since with his iron determination and strong Christian faith.
 
Last year, that fighting spirit was recognized when Eddie became one of the Olympic Torchbearers carrying the Olympic Torch through the Royal Sandringham Estate on its journey to the London Olympics, managing to walk a few steps unaided.
 
Eddie is now walking indoors with one stick and his next goal is to walk up the last portion of Mam Tor in Derbyshire’s Peak District on Saturday June 1, as Jeannie explained.
 
“Eddie calls it his ‘Everest’ and he will raise funds for Different Strokes, a national organisation which helps and supports working age stroke survivors. Eddie and our daughter Louise help to run a local group in Norwich.”
 
Mam Tor is Eddie’s favourite hill and he will also be climbing to celebrate his birthday, explained Louise: “Eddie used to go walking in Edale in the Peak District a lot. It was in his dreams, whilst paralysed in hospital, that he would one day walk those hills again so this will be a huge event for him.

“He won't be hiking a massive distance, but will be aiming to reach the top of Man Tor from the car park. It may well take him a whole day but he is very excited to be giving it a go.
 
Eddie said: “I have a support team made up of family and friends as I am still quite weak and need walking aids, so it’s going to be very difficult for me, so lots of prayer please.
 
“My chosen charity Different Strokes has been a lifeline for my family while I was in hospital and for me after my discharge. They have offered me expert advice, information and new friendships
 
“As well as raising funds for Different Strokes I would like the conquering of my ‘Everest’ to stand as an inspiration and hope, to those in recovery and their loved ones, friends and carers, that there is life after a stroke.

"In life there will always be ‘mountains’ to climb, large and small. My father was Polish and there is an old Polish saying: ‘The last thing I will give up is hope’ (Psalm 121).”
 
Before carrying the Olympic torch last summer, Eddie said at the time: “To think that a year ago I was literally hanging onto life not knowing whether I would walk or talk again. God has been my strength during the last year, always there in the darkest despair. I often think now about the footsteps in the sand story. I know now what it is like first hand to be carried and loved by Jesus. I also know that I am now walking beside him, albeit with sticks, and every so often I know that I can reach out and hold on to Him.

To support Eddie’s mammoth effort in aid of the Different Strokes support group, you can visit his fundraising page at www.bmycharity.com/bantameddie

PHOTO: Pictured above is Eddie Pleban with wife Jeannie

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