A Winchester dad who was told he would likely be bedbound for the rest of his life has defied the odds by completing a 50km bike ride for charity.

Adam Smith, 38, faced the prospect of living with lifelong disabilities after suffering two strokes which required a complex emergency surgery in September of 2017.

On Sunday (April 10), he completed the Brighton Marathon Ride, a cycling event which takes place before the main marathon, alongside his dad, Robert Smith, to raise money for the Stroke Association.

Speaking after the event, he said: “I managed to complete the race in two hours and 21 minutes, which is better than I thought! Considering where I was four and a half years ago to get here is quite an achievement."

Adam first sustained a neck injury during a white-collar charity boxing match when his opponent, an experienced boxer, landed a punch to the top of his head.

Recalling the events which unfolded after the fight, he said: “I had a headache for about three weeks after the boxing match, then I think on the following Thursday morning I was experiencing facial weakness – my whole face had dropped on one side.

“My wife told me she thought I’d had a stroke, but I just said, ‘no don’t be stupid, it can’t be that’. They rushed me down to hospital where they told me I was too young to have had a stroke, sent me for a scan and everything came back fine.”

It was only when Adam’s wife asked doctors to check his neck, where the injury originally occurred, that a second scan unearthed he had in fact suffered a mild stroke.

After being kept in for minor treatments and observations overnight, Adam tried to get out of his bed to go to the toilet the next morning, when he suffered a second, much more severe stroke.

“I was paralysed down the whole right-hand side of my body,” he said.

“As I went to move I just couldn’t, so I ended up collapsing on the floor and knocking myself out.”

Adam was rushed from Royal Hampshire County Hospital to Southampton for a complex emergency surgery. His family were told the operation could leave him severely disabled and even bedbound for the rest of his life.

However, despite never making a full recovery, he’s said the progress he’s made in the space of a few years has left many “gobsmacked”.

“When I came out of the surgery my family were told not to get their hopes up. The person who’d had the surgery before me was left with disabilities and the person after me lost their life.

“I’ve never recovered fully, but I’ve recovered enough to have been able do this bike ride. People think I’m fine now because I look fine, but I’m not. They seem to forget how bad I was when it first happened because if you were to see me in the high-street or in restaurant with my family, you wouldn’t be able to tell what I’ve been through.”

Adam has said he wants to raise as much money as he can for the Stroke Association, which helped with part of his recovery, and he’s currently up to £1,895 on his JustGiving page.

While he’s already completed the ride, he is still accepting donations. If you want to give to the fundraiser, you can do so here: justgiving.com/fundraising/adam-smith141