If there’s anything that Mike Purdy loves it’s his vintage Mustang. He loves driving it around and showing it off. So, it’s no wonder that after his devastating stroke in 2008 that he wanted to get down to business and regain the ability to drive it once again.
For thirty years, Mike was a DJ on many different radio stations in, and around, the Seattle, Washington, area. He loved his job and the excitement that it brought to his life. But all of that changed in July, 2008.
The first sign of trouble was when Mike, who was home alone, suddenly lost the sight in his left eye. Alarmed, he drove himself to the emergency room of his local hospital, but when he got there, he was misdiagnosed and sent back home.
After he got back to his house, he decided to work out on his treadmill. However, after walking for a bit, his stroke fully kicked in and fifty eight year old Mike collapsed and lay helpless on the floor for hours. When his daughter finally came home, she found Mike incapacitated and called 911.
Mike was rushed to Swedish Hospital’s Cherry Hill Campus, in Seattle, Washington. He remained in the intensive care unit for three days, and then he was transferred to their rehab unit for physical, occupational and speech therapy. After a stint of in-patient rehab, Mike continued his therapies as an outpatient at Valley Medical Center in Renton, WA.
Once the dust settled post-rehab, Mike was still left with right-sided paralysis, aphasia and blindness in his left eye. (One unusual sidebar: Mike says that although he’s been paralyzed on the right for the past eight years, a bit of movement seems to be returning to that side. He’s not sure where this will ultimately go.)
But, his residuals didn’t slow him down. Mike worked really hard to regain his driving ability. As testimony to his motivation, he was finally able to get behind the wheel again in 2011 and he never looked back.
Not surprisingly, Mike’s current life is an interesting mix of activities that keep him very busy. He takes his vintage Mustang to a couple of car shows each year, which is a heck of a lot of fun and brings him much satisfaction. Mike’s best placement to date: he entered his car in a show, back in 2010, and won an award for best '86-'87 Mustang. Granted, Mike’s was the only entry in that category, but, hey, he won!
Mike also maintains his own website at 9.spot.club. To see his website and to learn more about him, click on the following link:
Mike says that building and maintaining the site has been very rewarding, and that he’ll be happy to provide anyone with starter tips, if they’re interested in building one of their own.
In addition to his website and his vintage car, Mike spends his time working on a variety of other projects. He collects records, and converts songs to an electronic format so that they can be stored on mini disks. He says he also likes to help his friends out whenever he can. Right now, he’s working with several friends’ computers archiving photographs onto CD’s.
And, Mike participates regularly in a special activity that has changed his whole outlook: meditation. He says that as he gets better at it, he feels better. And apparently it’s enabled Mike to see things in a different light. He’s much more appreciative of what he’s regained since his stroke. He says that he knows he could be in a wheelchair, so he’s thankful that he can still walk and drive.
As his perspective has changed, Mike has come to realize something else: while a stroke can be devastating, you have the chance to get better and better. Many other illnesses and conditions don’t provide that opportunity. He’s also become more aware of how important it is to thank one’s caregivers and wants to remind survivors to be grateful for any help that they receive.
Mike no longer works as a DJ, but he says that not being employed isn’t all that bad. Though he does get a little bored from time to time, it’s minimal. Socializing takes a little of the sting out of not being able to work regularly. Among other things, Mike goes to breakfast once a week with his long-time friend, Gary, and afterwards they play cards. He also attends meetings once a month at a Young Stroke Survivors Support Group in Seattle.
Mike has the next act in his life all figured out. He wrote two screenplays that are his main focus now. The first one is finished, and is posted on-line. The second one needs to be completed. As such, Mike is looking for a writer to assist him in this enterprise.
Anyone who wants to work with Mike on the screenplay, or anyone who wishes to otherwise network with Mike, can reach him via the Stroke Network. His user ID is 9spot.