Mike Willis – My Work Isn’t Done
Mike Willis is an orthopedic surgeon, a father of young children, and an avid outdoorsman. He is also a survivor of an ischemic stroke that resulted in left-sided hemiplegia(paralysis). Mike shared his story as part of a video series produced for American Stroke Month by Together to End Stroke national sponsor, Bayer Aspirin. Here, he shares his thoughts on what making the video meant to him.
Many people claim that I am lucky that the stroke did not kill me, or that it did not affect my dominant side. I don’t agree, as I am in no way lucky. I am, however, grateful that those were not the outcomes of stroke for me. I awaken each day with the distinct recognition that I have the opportunity to restructure my life in every way possible.
Stroke is the leading cause of disability and can occur at any age, even in the womb, and my disabilities are not drastically different than those of others.
I was recently given the opportunity to share my story and found the project provided a great sense of purpose and inspiration. It allowed for me to show that I and an incredible number of people like me live with the impact of stroke and work hard every day to recover to our greatest abilities.
As with many challenges in life, we find opportunities for life to be defined by us, not stroke, every day. We are not victims, we are survivors!
I have seen amazing things happen and I want to be one of them. My work here isn’t done because I’m not done. I am not lucky, I’m a warrior. That’s my story, and I’m living it!
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