A GRANDMOTHER-of-five suffered a stroke moments after she disturbed a burglar ransacking her home.

71-year-old Fatima Patel had been asleep in her downstairs bedroom at her family home in Bold Street, in the Whalley Range area of Blackburn when she awoke to find a man dressed in dark clothing rummaging through her sideboard and belongings.

The terrified pensioner then watched the thief for several minutes unbeknown to him after he switched on the bedroom light.

After letting out a scream, the frightened mother-of-one, who uses a walking stick to get around, chased the burglar as he ran out of her room into the kitchen, moments before suffering a stroke.

Family members woken by the screams then alerted the ambulance service and Mrs Patel was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital for treatment.

Mrs Patel condition is described as ‘stable’, police said.

Her 23-year-old grandson Arif Adam Patel, said: “We are certain the shock of finding someone in her bedroom brought on the stroke.

“She told us she watch him looking through the draws before he noticed her.

“Strangely he even tried on a pair of gloves.

“The stroke has caused loss of movement on her right side and she is slurring her words.

“I urge anyone who saw this man hanging around to contact police.”

Detectives are now appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious to come forward.

DS Kathryn Cussans, of Blackburn CID said: “This was a shocking, frightening and upsetting incident for an elderly victim who went on to suffer a suspected stroke.

“I urge anyone who had been in the Bold Street area of Whalley Range in the early hours of Friday morning to come forward.

“If anybody noticed anything suspicious or a white man dressed in dark clothing hanging around I also urge them to contact police.”

Officers said the burglar is thought to have escaped from the same way he entered through an insecure door.

He then left via the back alley.

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101.