A YORK woman who was unable to walk or talk after suffering a stroke is planning a huge personal challenge - to climb up Whitby's famous 199 steps.

Jo Milan, 51, wants to show how far she has come in her recovery since the devastating stroke five years ago, which left her with severe weakness down her right hand side and able to say just three words – “yes”, “no” and “nurse.”

She spent a year in hospital, receiving physiotherapy and speech therapy and is still recovering now, but has made huge progress.

She also hopes to use the climb on Sunday to raise money for the Brooke, a global animal welfare charity, which helps working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world’s poorest communities.

Jo, who worked for the Yorkshire Tourist Board for over 35 years, said: “After my stroke I found myself hardly able to talk, and I couldn’t tell people how I was feeling. These animals, working hours on end in tough environments, have the same problem and I want to help give them a voice.

“I’m really looking forward to this challenge – I’ll be so proud to make it to the top and show how far I’ve come in my recovery.”

To sponsor Jo, go to www.justgiving.com/jomilan.