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Miracle haemorrhage survivor runs 8 marathons in 8 days

A man who survived a brain haemorrhage has raised money for a national neurological charity by running eight marathons in eight days.

Neil Rhodes, a father of two originally from East Riding and now living in Yeovil, has been running daily marathons across East and North Yorkshire over the past week.

Neil has always led an active lifestyle, and was on a rowing machine practicing for the forthcoming World Indoor Rowing Championships in 2003, when he suddenly collapsed. Doctors found a burst aneurysm in his brain, and he was rushed into an eight-hour emergency operation.

Despite being given just a 7% chance of survival, Neil awoke from his coma a week later with only a headache as a side effect, and was discharged from hospital after 10 days.

Since then, Neil has competed in several ultramarathons across Europe and further afield, and has broken a number of fitness World Records. In 2011 he crossed 930 miles of mountains in 6 different countries.

In this challenge, Neil is aiming to raise £4,000 to split between The Brain Charity, a national organisation which supports those with neurological conditions, and Caudwell Children, a charity which supports disabled youth. Amongst many other services, The Brain Charity helps those who have had brain haemorrhages rebuild their lives. It also provides bereavement support for the families of those who do not survive.

Neil commented:

At the time of my brain haemorrhage I was probably one of the fittest 45 year olds in the country. I had no risk factors or indication whatsoever of the ticking time bomb inside my body. Most people who suffer such a massive brain haemorrhage either don’t survive, or are left with severe brain damage. I was incredibly lucky to survive with no side effects whatsoever. Doctors told me they had never seen anything like it before and believed my fitness saved my life. It seemed only right that I use my fitness to help others who haven’t been as lucky as I was – and that is why I am supporting The Brain Charity.

Tui Benjamin, Head of Fundraising at The Brain Charity, added:

We are honoured Neil is taking on such an impressive challenge for The Brain Charity. We see first hand the devastating impact brain haemorrhage can have, both on the lives of survivors and on the friends and family of those who sadly do not survive, and cannot do what we do without the support of our generous fundraisers.

You can donate to Neil’s fundraiser here.