Andrew Hadley's Story of Resilience and Hope.

Andrew Hadley's Story of Resilience and Hope.

29 March 2023

In November 2019 I clung on to the stainless-steel railings at PRET King’s Cross.

Surrounded by thousands of commuters, but ultimately confused and alone, my brain started to lose oxygen.

I was having a stroke at 26.

Another stroke and emergency surgery followed that evening followed by three months in a bed at The Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital on intravenous antibiotics. Infective endocarditis, a rare heart disease, had made its way to my heart.

I would lie in bed unable to move for two days. Quite a large part of me was embarrassed.

I thought nobody cared. Turns out, when trying to call my parents from the ambulance, my flailing hands had accidentally switched on Flight Mode. Oops.

There and then began the process of re-learning, well, pretty much everything.

From basic things like walking, to more abstract things like patience, sarcasm. And words. What they are, what they’re for…even the order they go in.

During this period of forgetfulness, frustration and momentary joy of finding the right words (and even writing them down!), I discovered my love of Copywriting.

Up to then I had been a Producer. I was a man who planned, a doer, an occasional herder of people into meeting rooms. My day-to-day writing consisted of emails about timings, resource plans and links to the latest designs.

I also thought you had to go to Ad School to be a Creative and there was no other way in.

But I was out of hospital, back walking the mean streets of Southwark. This was my second chance. And there are always exceptions to rules, right?

‘Why not?’ was the question that kept coming to mind. So one morning I just…asked my Creative Director what he thought about a sideways move into the world of words. A beaming yes from him got the ball rolling. After responding to 100 or so briefs in my evenings in the months that followed, soon I had a book together – from CTAs to conceptual adcepts.

Two years in, I’m proud to say I write films for adidas TERREX.

Throughout my adult life running has been a special activity. Being able to still run today is a therapy, catharsis and a privilege. Very shortly I’m running the London Landmarks Half Marathon raising money for the hospital that took so much care putting me back together.

On the day I’m sure there will be tears. Perhaps (for once) I’ll struggle for words.

But I’ll be out there celebrating second chances, making positive changes and the sheer joy of being alive.

5 Kilometres, 21 minutes and 55 seconds later, Hadley raised an amount of £1,825.

If you’d like to support his cause, please follow him via the link here:



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