A grandfather partially paralysed by four strokes is back on his motorbike after fulfilling a pledge to play football with his grandson.
James Cho, 65 from Epsom has made amazing progress since being paralysed down the right-hand side of his body in 2010 and last week was presented with a Stroke Association Life After Stroke Award, for his bravery.
Mr Cho, who had represented his native Malaysia in water polo and had been a Kung Fu instructor was visiting his daughter Fiona when he had the first stroke.
He was rushed to Epsom Hospital where he suffered a further 3 strokes. He developed aphasia: a language disorder which affects a person’s ability to communicate.
And the paralysis meant he had to abandon his twin passions, motorbike riding and cycling.
Mr Cho said "Not being able to walk or talk was terrifying. At the time, I thought my life was as good as over."
But he promised his daughter Fiona that he would gain enough mobility to be able to play football with his three-and-a-half year old grandson, Noah.
Four and half years later he has done it - thanks to his determination, an intensive training regime and on-going support from his family.
He is now also able to enjoy motorbike riding and cycling again.
A keen musician, Mr Cho is learning to play his guitar again and is studying to become a personal fitness trainer and wants to specialise in sports therapy, so he can help others who have lost their mobility through injury or illness.
The award he received was sponsored by the Toni &Guy Charitable Foundation, which recognises the courage shown by stroke survivors and carers.
Jon Barrick, chief executive of the Stroke Association, said: "James’ personal story of recovery is inspirational to many stroke survivors. At the Stroke Association, we support stroke survivors to make their best possible recovery and we’re working to change the world for people affected by this devastating condition. James is a worthy winner of this award."
Mr Cho, who was joined by his family at the awards ceremony, said: "It was an honour to receive the Stroke Association’s award. If I had one message to other stroke survivors, it would be ‘never give up, and make life after stroke a reality’."