Eddie ended up on a ventilator in a Dubai hospital and then the acute stroke unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and the outlook initially looked bleak for the 61-year-old’s family.
But now Christian Eddie, who worked for YMCA Norfolk and Solo Housing, is learning to speak, swallow and drink once more after an incredible recovery.
Daughter Louise Hamilton, 36, said: "After four-and-a-half months of hell we had a fantastic day yesterday. Dad had tests on his swallow and they confirmed he'd be able to 'slowly' return to a normal diet. He apparently ate an entire meal last night - slowly doesn't figure now in him wanting to get to rehab and home! Amazing man....
"Dad had his trachy out only last week and so is now able to go out in a wheelchair without a huge medical team and equipment following behind. He can now move his left side really rather well and can also move his right arm reasonably ok (he needs more physio to release his frozen shoulder). He can move his legs a little and sitting will now improve with him being in a chair rather than a bed more often.
"This feels like such a turning point and so far from what we were facing only a number of weeks ago. Thanks so much for all the support we've had through this so far. There is a lot of hard work to go but the worry of 'medical' issues seems now to be being lifted somewhat," said Louise. "Considering statistics on brain stem stroke & the recovery expectations of those who are 'locked in' I am so incredibly proud of my Dad."
Louise 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.”
Pictured top is Eddie Pleban with wife Jeannie and, right, with daughter Louise.