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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Tyler S-A.
Tyler S-A.
Survivor

Larissa B.
Larissa B.
Survivor

Heather H.
Heather H.
Caregiver & Family

Mike

Mike
Mike

Survivor

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 optimistic. 

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 progress.

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 Bartels-Tobin.

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.

 

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Faces of Stroke

National Stroke Association

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