Singaporean dad defeats life-threatening stroke to become bodybuilding champ

Tan Mei Zi
Kellvin Lim became the runner up of the 2019 Fitness Ironman bodybuilding competition in the 40 years old and above category. — Facebook/kellvin.lim

PETALING JAYA, Nov 13 — Life was never the same after Singaporean bodybuilder Kellvin Lim suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2014.

His appearance back then was that of a frail man in a wheelchair, a far cry from his current physique of toned abs and defined biceps.

In an interview with Singaporean Chinese daily Lianhe Wanbao, the 46-year-old shared his story in the hopes that it would inspire those going through similar struggles to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lim recalled how he collapsed on his way to work five years ago, a result of a cerebral haemorrhage after two blood vessels burst in the right side of his brain.

Doctors told his family that Lim had a five to 10 percent chance of surviving surgery and that he would risk death or slip into a vegetative state should the operation fail.

Left with no choice, his family agreed to the procedure and though it was a success, Lim woke up to find that the left side of his body couldn’t move very well.

He then embarked on a long recovery process where he relied heavily on a wheelchair and frequently wet the bed.

“There’s a coffee shop below my place that’s just about 300 metres away but it would take me 15 minutes just to wheel myself over.

“It always felt as though people were looking at me and I became really depressed then,” Lim said, according to translations by AsiaOne.

With the support of his wife and feeling motivated by the thought of his aquarium business and three kids, he spent the next three years recuperating and undergoing rehabilitation to regain full mobility in his body.

“No one else can help me, only I can help myself.

“I wanted to change myself, so in 2017 I got rid of all my bad eating habits and spent my mornings swimming and my evenings at the gym.

“I even hired a private trainer and lost almost 20kg that year.

Lim went from struggling to lift a 5kg dumbbell to becoming the second runner up of the 2018 Fitness Ironman bodybuilding competition in the above 176cm category and the runner up of this year’s competition in the 40 years old and above category.

He no longer requires a wheelchair or walking stick to get around and said he forced himself to walk to the office every day as part of his training.

Ultimately, it was the thought of his loved ones that pushed him to keep going.

“A lot of times, when I was out of breath, I really felt like giving up. But thinking of my family and my business, I could only persevere.”

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