My name is John Mitchell, and I am a stroke survivor. I used to be journalist, foreign correrspondent, public servant, publicist, photojournalist and speechwriter.
I had a heart attack Christmas day, 2009, went to hospital, and two days later had a triple bypass. The operation was messy and involved a lot of bleeding, resulting in the surgeon having to undertake a "redo".
During the first or second operations I suffered three strokes, and rather spending 7-8 days in one hospital before being discharged, I spent some four months in four different hospitals.
My business collapsed (the problem with being a sole practitioner) and my wife, Julie, and I retired from Adelaide to the Victorian country town of Kyneton.
But on November 11, 2011, I started a blog on the National Stroke Foundation of Australia's website . This was at the request of the NSF StrokeConnect co-ordinator, Emma Gee. She believed that as a journalist, I might have the ability to encourage others to start blogs on the website.
Initially I did, and some 6-8 others started writing. But then Emma left, and the NSF neglected the StrokeConnect component of its website and everything ground to a halt....apart from my blog.
Between November, 2011 and May 2015 I wrote almost a daily blog that over that time attracted some 150,000 page views.
Around May 2015 StrokeConnect stopped and a new website called "enableme" started......and the NSF - for some reason - simply wiped me off with hardly a word of thanks for the effort I had put in to keeping StrokeConnect alive. This had included writing a major speech about stroke for a colleague, Senator Don Farrell (ALP), which he gave in the Australian Parliament in 2011.
If I sound disenchanted with the NSF, then I am.
An old friend and stroke survivor, ElizabethC, recommended this website to me as one where I could perhaps continue to maintain my blog.
So here I am. :-)