Fraser’s walking tall


Stroke victim Fraser Griggs, flanked by Deon Taylor (left) and Tim Jenkins, is looking forward to the Coast to Coast walk.  Picture: Martin Kennealey                www.communitypix.com.au   d449950
Fraser’s walking tall
Stroke victim Fraser Griggs, flanked by Deon Taylor (left) and Tim Jenkins, is looking forward to the Coast to Coast walk. Picture: Martin Kennealey               www.communitypix.com.au d449950

He has recruited friends from around the world to complete the Coast to Coast walk with him in May and raise money for a charity helping disadvantaged young people.

“I’ve said, ‘when I finish and cross the line, that’s it, the stroke will be done’,” he said.

“For me, it is the chance to put a line under it and say, ‘that’s in the past, now I can completely move on from it’.

“They (friends) all see it as a big part of my rehabilitation.”

Doctors told Mr Griggs his recovery had been remarkable since having the stroke in March 2014.

He was returning home from a business trip to London when he collapsed at Dubai International Airport.

He had lost control of the left side of his body and his speech was slurred.

“I was a bit confused about what was going on,” he said. “At no time did I panic, but thinking back now, I have no idea why.”

He was taken to hospital, where he awoke the next morning to news he had suffered a stroke.

“At the time I didn’t really have much understanding of what a stroke was,” he said.

He spent three weeks in hospital before being flown back to Perth and transferred to Joondalup Health Campus.

The left side of his face had dropped, he lost speech fluency and he was unable to grip anything, raise his left arm above horizontal or walk because he had no control over his left leg.

Mr Griggs was referred to a physiotherapist in Madeley, whom he largely credits with his recovery, and told to set small daily targets but he aimed larger.

“My lifetime ambition was to do the Coast to Coast walk and I thought, ‘that’s my target’,” he said.

“They (doctors) said I might not ever be able to do it so I said, ‘right, I’m definitely going to do it now’.”

Jenkins Physiotherapy owner Tim Jenkins was so impressed that he is sponsoring the team.

Mr Griggs will be joined by 11 friends from Canada, the UK and Australia, including fellow Alexander Heights resident Deon Taylor, to do the cross-country walk.

“I’m really overwhelmed,” he said. “There are only two people younger than me and some not particularly fit (but) we’re inspiring each other.”

As most of the walkers are from England, they will be raising money for UK-based charity the Dallaglio Foundation.

Mr Griggs said he was nervous and excited.

“I’m excited to see lots of my family and friends over there,” he said.

A charity movie night is being held in Mirrabooka on March 4 for the Australian premiere of Downhill, about a group of friends attempting the walk.

Tickets cost $20; to RSVP, call 0401 444 544 or email fraser@point2-solutions.com.