Ex-Cobblers keeper Mark Bunn shares heart-breaking experience of losing his mum to a stroke ahead of charity run

Suzy Bunn died at the age of 50 after suffering stroke out of the blue at church

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:24 am
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 11:30 am

Former Northampton Town FC goalkeeper Mark Bunn knows all to well the heart-breaking impact a stroke can have after losing his mother to the devastating condition.

Suzy Bunn had no warning signs or risk factors but suddenly had a stroke 10 years ago at the age of 50 before her family had to turn off her life support.

Mark said: “I was playing for the Cobblers at the time when my dad got in touch to say mum had collapsed while she was at church.

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Mark Bunn is now a goalkeeping coach at Cambridge United FC
Mark Bunn is now a goalkeeping coach at Cambridge United FC

"She had complained of a headache in the day, nothing else, so we had no idea what was going on, it was very scary. I went to see her in hospital and she just had no idea who I was.

“It happened so quickly. She became violently sick and within two days doctors said they needed to operate to relieve the pressure on her brain - we didn’t honestly know what was going to happen.

"During the surgery, she had a heart attack and we had to make a decision as a family to turn her life support off – it was such a hard time for all of us.”

Mark made 90 appearances in seven years at Cobblers from 2001 to 2008 before spells in League One and the Premier League.

Mark Bunn in goal for Northampton Town back in 2006

The now-goalkeeping coach at Cambridge United has been inspired to support the Stroke Association since his mum's death.

He urged people to sign up for the charity's Resolution Run at Brixworth Country Park on Sunday, March 8 - he was planning on taking part but has had to pull out because of injury.

“I’m all too aware that stroke really does strike in an instant and you never think it will happen to you or your family," he said.

"That’s why it’s so important to support the Stroke Association and taking part in a Resolution Run is a great way to get involved.”

There are 1.2 million stroke survivors in the UK living with devastating wide-ranging disabilities such as speech difficulties, memory loss and mental health issues.

The Stroke Association provides specialist support, funds critical research and campaigns to make sure people affected by stroke get the very best care and support to rebuild their lives.

Lucy Burnip, community and events fundraiser at the charity, said: “Stroke recovery is a marathon, not a sprint and each recovery is as individual as each stroke survivor.

"That’s why we’re encouraging people to join our Resolution Run in Northampton and raise vital funds for the Stroke Association.

“Life after stroke is different for us all, but there is one way we can stand together.

"The Resolution Run is the perfect opportunity to mark a milestone in your own stroke recovery, show your support for a friend or family member affected by stroke, or in memory of a loved one.

"You can run, walk or cheer and choose your distance to suit you. It’s more than a run, it’s a resolution to help rebuild lives after stroke.”

Entry fee is just £15 and runners can choose their distance from a range of distances depending on location. Walk or run, all participants will receive a medal waiting at the finish line.

To sign up, visit www.resolutionrun.org.uk, email [email protected] or call 0300 330 0740.