Three-time Olympic rowing champion Pete Reed says he has become partially paralysed from a stroke.

Reed won a gold medal for Britain at each of the last three Olympics before retiring last year.

He says on Instagram he is paralysed from the chest down after suffering a stroke in the middle of his spine last month.

Reed says the extent of the damage is still not clear.

View this post on Instagram

Public SitRep: Today is #WorldStrokeDay so I thought I would update you on my current situation. Spinal strokes are very rare. They essentially starve the spinal cord of oxygen which can kill off the cells that transmit the signals sent between the brain and (in my case) the lower body. Doctors can’t be certain what caused my stroke. It was in the middle of my spine so I’m currently paralysed beneath my chest. Prognosis: there is no crystal ball. There is a very small chance I will make no recovery and a very small chance I will make a full recovery. Much more likely it will be somewhere in between. To what extent depends on the extent of the damage (which we can’t see) and how well I rehab. All the other news is great. My arms are still strong and my brain is still as average as it ever was. My personal support network continues to be bombproof (thank you so much) and I am handling myself every bit as well as you would hope. I’m keeping a diary of this whole experience – the ups, downs, challenges, triumphs. I’ll keep odd posts coming. Until then, enjoy the rugby (if you’re going to spend a prolonged period in hospital, it may as well be during the 2019 Rugby World Cup). Onwards. • Thank you for all the comments on my last post. Thanks also to all of you who have offered to help… right now I don’t even know what to ask for. I feel like I have everything I need at this stage.

A post shared by Pete Reed (@petereed) on

“There is a very small chance I will make no recovery and a very small chance I will make a full recovery. Much more likely it will be somewhere in between,” he wrote on Thursday.

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The 38-year-old Reed is an officer in the British Navy.

He was a member of the gold-winning coxless four crew at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, and switched to the eight for 2016.

AAP