Doctors told him he may not walk again after a devastating stroke – but Leeds United hero Brendon Ormsby has proved them wrong.
Now the former Whites captain is preparing to not just walk, but attempt to jog the Jane Tomlinson Run for All Leeds 10k.
Since suffering a stroke just before Christmas, the sportsman has focused on this goal to spur him on.
His wife Wendy said: “Physically he’s done amazingly. From the specialist saying he didn’t think Brendon would walk again, he can do 20 minutes on a treadmill and his gait is extremely good.”
Mr Ormsby, who lives near Selby, suffered the stroke on December 22, a day after attending Leeds United’s match with Barnsley at Elland Road.
He was treated in hospital in York and then returned home to continue his recuperation.
Mrs Ormsby said he was struggling with speech and communication, though it was improving, but was a regular at the gym.
The idea of doing the 10k came as his family knew he needed a goal to aim for.
“It’s given us something to focus on, rather than his stroke,” said Mrs Ormsby, 53.
He has built up from walking to jogging, but Mr Ormsby’s family are unsure how he will cope with the 10k distance on July 20.
“He’s only done one-and-a-half miles jogging. How he’s going to finish the race, I don’t know. He will finish it somehow, but we don’t know what effect it’s going to have on him,” his wife said.
She will accompany him at the event, along with their son Liam and many other family and friends.
“If he needs to walk, he will walk, but knowing Brendon he won’t want to,” she added.
“All his friends have really got behind him and supported him by taking part, and we’re very thankful for their support. We’ve chosen to raise funds for the Stroke Association because of the incredible work the charity does to support stroke survivors and their families.”
Mahalia France-Mir, regional fundraiser at the Stroke Association, added: “Brendon is a real inspiration and seeing him challenge himself with the Leeds 10k is testament to how far he has come.
“He is proof that there is life after stroke and we’re extremely grateful for all the support from Brendan and his family and friends. The money raised will go a long way in helping to support people in Yorkshire who are living with the effects of stroke.” To donate to the fundraising, visit www.justgiving.com/run4brendonormsby.
* See tomorrow’s health page in the Style supplement for more on Brendon’s recovery and life after stroke.