Mike is 53 years old. He has three daughters, Nicole,
28, Amanda, 25, Jaclyn, 23, and an amazing wife, Kathy, who he has been married
to for 30 years.
On the morning of Thursday, May 7, 2009, Mike suffered a
severe stroke, while working out on an elliptical machine. Due to the stroke
and hemorrhaging, he lost the ability to speak as well as the use of the right
side of his body.
The days that followed were long and hard on the entire
family as the outcome was quite unclear. The neurology team at Robert Wood
Johnson in New Brunswick, New Jersey, notified Mike’s family that if he were to make it
after 3 days he would be "out of the woods," but they were not
The news was quite
disheartening, and Mike’s girls and many family and friends stayed by his side
throughout this very difficult time. Proving the doctors wrong, he did in fact
make it out. He was transferred out of CCU onto the neurology floor one week
after the stroke on May 14. It was known that Mike still had a long road ahead
of him, but the swelling of the brain began to go down, and he began to make some
On Wednesday, May 20, Mike was transferred to Kessler Rehabilitation
Center in West Orange, New Jersey. The nurses there that admitted Mike later told Kathy and
the girls that they thought he would never make it through rehabilitation, and
if he did he would never be able to walk or talk.
However, while at Kessler (he spent May-August there) he made
amazing progress daily, and thanks to his incredible strength, perseverance,
youth, and the love of his family the effects of the stroke began to diminish. The milestones reached while at Kessler were
inspiring, as Mike proved to his doctors, therapists and family what an amazing
man he truly is.
In October 2009, 5 months after his stroke, Mike walked his
oldest daughter Nicole down the aisle for her wedding. In November 2011, Mike
gave a speech at his daughter Amanda’s wedding.
Today, Mike is able to walk with a cane and is looking
forward to the day he can put that aside. His speech is still limited due to
the aphasia he has but he continues to work on his disabilities EVERY DAY.
Mike and Kathy are currently splitting their
time up between Clearwater, Florida and Lavallette, New Jersey. While in
Florida, Mike works with the amazing therapists of Steps Forward Therapy, an
intense Aphasia therapy program, in St. Petersburg, led by Dr. Lori
As a former director and international leader for a large
company, Mike longs to make a connection and once again have a positive impact
on others. Aside from working hard to overcome his disabilities, Mike’s primary
focus is to find a way to seek out other stroke survivors, and to share his
story. He would be an excellent candidate for your "Faces of Stroke,"
because he is exactly that. He had the worst stroke imaginable, and is not only
living but thriving ‐ and learning to
manage his condition.
Mike, according to his daughter, wants to live a
meaningful life again by helping other individuals who have had a stroke. They,
too, should know they will overcome these obstacles and thrive again, and Mike
Caputo can show them how.