AT the age of 18, Victoria Parker suffered a debilitating stroke and was the youngest person on her hospital ward by about 50 years.

Six years on, she is training to run the London Marathon in April with her hugely supportive sister, Olivia Parker Scott, 23, to raise funds for the Stroke Association.

Victoria was on holiday with friends in Spain when she felt so unwell her parents asked a friend to check her out and he immediately noticed the signs of a stroke.

The sisters are keen to raise awareness about strokes in young people. According to the Stroke Association, 20,000 people under 65 have strokes every year and babies can suffer, too.

Victoria suffered the stroke due to a hole in her heart. She was flown home to England and underwent surgery for this at Charing Cross Hospital. She remained there for a month.

Victoria has slurred speech and mobility problems but now works in the reception of her local hospital. She hopes to go on to become a speech and language therapist.

The sisters have completed 5k runs previously and the Ealing Half-Marathon last year.

Freelance photographer Olivia, of Chatsworth Gardens, Acton, enjoys training for the marathon with her sister and said the stroke had made brought them much close. They see each other every weekend.

Olivia said: "We really wanted to give something back to the Stroke Association after all the support they gave us after her stroke."

You can donate to Olivia and Victoria’s marathon fund by visiting