Deeping pensioner back on her bike after stroke

Laura Pepper
Laura Pepper
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A grandmother is back on her bike just weeks after suffering a stroke thanks to the help of a health service and her community.

Laura Pepper, 81, of The Avenue, Market Deeping, has always kept active by taking a daily bike ride around her home town.

She was also keen to stay social and was an member of several groups around the Deepings.

But in July last year she suffered a stroke which left her too weak to exercise or attend group meetings.

Mrs Pepper was determined to get back to her active social life and back on her bike, so she started therapy treatment with Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust’s stroke service.

The therapy wasn’t easy but after six weeks of hard work and willpower, Mrs Pepper was back on the streets of Market Deeping showing off her new helmet.

The stroke happened just five weeks after she had a pacemaker fitted and Mrs Pepper struggles to remember how it happened.

She said: “I do not remember much, just that my husband has told me I didn’t recognise him, which wasn’t very nice of course.

“I didn’t remember anyone except my daughter-in-law Rebecca, that’s all I knew.”

Mrs Pepper’s treatment included physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy.

She added: “The therapists made me feel as though I was the only person that mattered.

“They started everything at once; speaking and physio.

“It was wonderful because I did everything they said because I wanted to get better.”

Not only is Mrs Pepper back on her bike, she is also getting back to the societies which she has long been a part of, including the Market Deeping Women’s Institute and Deepings Heritage.

She plans to give a reading in her church in September with the help and support of her friends at the Mother’s Union and Ladies Guild.

She has returned to her craft clubs after regaining almost all feeling back in her hands. And she is even in the process of hand-crafting her Christmas cards ready for the end of the year.

Rachel Horner is one of the trust’s speech and language therapists for south west Lincolnshire.

She said: “Laura’s main priority was to be able to communicate to all her friends and family both verbally and via e-mail.

“She had a very active social life before her stroke and was determined to continue this. After much practice, dedication and hard work she has achieved many of her goals.”