A STROKE survivor has raised thousands of pounds for a charity close to his heart after defying disability and tackling a 200-mile bike ride.

Artist Chris Jiggins, 43, of Head Street, Halstead, set-off on a four-day cycle around last Friday to raise money for the Stroke Association, which provides support to sufferers and aims to combat further cases.

The challenge saw Chris, his friends and members of his family set off from the Griffin pub, on Parsonage Street, before riding to Kings Lynn via Aldeburgh, Winterton and Stiffkey in north Norfolk.

The ride has raised more than £3,000 for the charity.

Chris said: “The ride was the perfect way to give myself the time to think about the reasons you have to fight stroke.

“Every moment in your life is extraordinary and worth fighting for.

“The most important thing, that not only came from the ride but from my experience with stroke, is how important support is.”

Chris suffered a crippling stroke in February 2017, after having a brain haemorrhage as a result of undiagnosed high blood pressure.

He was kept in Broomfield Hospital for four months before returning home, where he has since made steady improvement following rehabilitation and physiotherapy sessions.

But Chris still has severe weakness in his right arm and leg and suffers from dramatic fatigue, which at times proved difficult during the marathon journey.

He said: “My leg felt like a bit of wood for most of the trip and I also lost the feeling in my hand – unfortunately though I could still feel my sore undercarriage!

“Dealing with balance when cars and lorries went past was also hard, but the laughter kept us all going which is a good reason to fight stroke.

“We will all keep fighting to help people like me.”

To donate to Chris’s campaign visit justgiving.com and search for csjartist and to view his artwork visit csjartist.com.