A "violent sneeze” may have triggered the devastating stroke that robbed a 40-year-old man of the ability to walk.
But now, two years later, Chris Robinson learned to walk again, and is scaling 10 of Scotland’s highest peaks.
Doctors feared he’d never walk again after his stroke in November 2018, which they say may have been caused by anything from a cough to a violent sneeze.
Chris, from Aberdeen, began to feel dizzy but initially attributed it to tiredness.
But when he struggled to walk, and felt his right side go numb, he knew something was seriously wrong and contacted his GP.
He was sent to hospital and then quickly admitted to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary’s stroke unit.
Doctors told him he had split a vein in his head, which would have been caused by anything from a cough to a violent sneeze.
And they advised the business development manager that it might be a long time before he could walk again.
But now Mr Robinson aims to defy the odds as he prepares to scale 10 of Scotland’s highest peaks.
In doing so he hopes to raise £10,000 for the Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland charity.
His efforts will culminate in taking on Ben Nevis, two years on from having suffered his stroke.
In just 15 months, Mr Robinson has gone from being unable to walk the length of his hospital room to deciding to take on the mammoth challenge.
And with his treasured blind dog, Rex, by his side, he plans to conquer his chosen 10 peaks during the next 10 months.
That effort began on Sunday when he scaled Bennachie.
He said: “I was overcome with determination to get back walking.
“I never stopped to focus too much on what I couldn’t do.
“I put all my energy into getting better and didn’t spend time thinking about what would happen if I didn’t recover.
“With walking being the thing that was most affected by my stroke, I wanted to create a challenge that encompassed it.
“I’ve spent the past year learning to walk again and although I can walk now, I am still only at 80%.
“I have to think about every footstep before I take it.”
Jane-Claire Judson, chief executive at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, said: “Chris is an inspiration; to be taking on such a difficult challenge, and especially after being unable to walk just over a year ago is incredible.
“We want people to do more than survive after a stroke, we want them to really live.
“Chris’s story is also an important reminder that there are other, less common signs stroke.
“Sudden blurred vision, sudden dizziness or a severe headache that comes on quickly with no known cause can also be signs of a stroke.”
If you would like to support Mr Robinson’s challenge, click here.