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Norwich man makes remarkable recovery from aeroplane stroke

06:30 16 April 2011

Eddie Pleban (right) and wife Jeanie with their newest granddaughter Charlotte in Perth, Australia, 11 days before Mr Pleban had his stroke on the flight back to England.

Eddie Pleban (right) and wife Jeanie with their newest granddaughter Charlotte in Perth, Australia, 11 days before Mr Pleban had his stroke on the flight back to England.


A Norwich man has made a remarkable recovery from a stroke that he suffered on a long-haul flight home from Australia, which left him fighting for his life in a Dubai hospital.

"Dad is doing amazingly and defying all statistics on brain stem strokes. "

Mr Pleban’s daughter Louise Hamilton

Eddie Pleban and his wife Jeannie had been visiting their youngest daughter, Sarah-Jane, 31, and their newest grandchild, Charlotte, in Perth.

But as their flight neared Dubai for a refuelling stop, Mr Pleban was taken ill and the couple, who live on Colman Road, Eaton, spent more than a week in a hospital there.

After returning to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s acute stroke unit, the outlook initially looked bleak in a very distressing time for the 61-year-old’s family.

But now he is learning to speak, swallow and drink once more after an incredible recovery.

Daughter Louise Hamilton, 36, said: “His first words were ‘I love you’ to mum. They really are helping each other through this every step.

“Dad is doing amazingly and defying all statistics on brain stem strokes.

“He had his review with the trachyostomy nurse to place a camera down and see if any of the swelling that was there before had gone down.

“They weren’t hopeful as the last review showed extensive swelling that they didn’t think would ever reduce but were amazed to find there was no swelling left at all.” Mr Pleban
was born in Sunderland but worked for YMCA Norfolk for 26 years, latterly as the organisation’s housing manager, and, most recently, for Solo Housing in Diss.

He is a grandfather of six and has one other daughter, 39-year-old Lila, and a son, John, 38.

Mrs Hamilton added: “The family have bought him a laptop so he can keep his brain active and his spirits are incredibly high, most days. “He is such an inspiration. We’re absolutely amazed at his progress and can only say that it’s down to his determination and spirit.”

Is your family going through a similar ordeal? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email

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