Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012---10:00 p.m.
Former NBC 15 News anchor and current News Talk 1310 WIBA host Mitch Henck knew he was seriously ill on October 22nd. " I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom, so I knew that I was in trouble. They (paramedics) had to break down my door because I couldn't get down to open it," Henck said.
Only 50 years old, Henck had suffered a stroke. He was partially paralyzed...unable to walk or talk . At first, his speech was so slurred you couldn't understand him. Henck jokes, "I had plenty to say about the election, but nobody could hear me."
But through stroke rehab therapy, in just a few weeks he can now walk with a cane....and talk again. "I'm making pretty good progress. I sound like Kirk Douglas..but in the beginning you couldn't understand me at all."
His parents have moved in with him during his recovery.
"I've got my parents here living with me. So it's my second childhood. It's pretty unnerving for them to make sure I'm alright in the shower. I mean, they haven't seen me without clothes in 47 years, and I'm sure it's not a pretty picture now. I'm thankful that they're here, and friends and family--they've been very helpful. People are so nice, and people I don't even know sent me cards. Sometimes they even come up on the street and give me hugs. I wouldn't recommend a stroke to get sympathy."
With Thanksgiving around the corner...Mitch Henck actually feels pretty fortunate.
As a middle-aged man who has suffered a stroke, he offers some advice. "I think people need to take advantage of their chance to work out, and walk, and eat right. You can't take it for granted. And I wouldn't recommend a stroke for anybody. I see people walking down the street, and I'm jealous, but I know I'll be right there with them with rehab. They said because I was so young I could have a full recovery. So, I'll be a fighting machine once I get out of this."
Mitch was being treated for high blood pressure when he had his stroke...and had oral surgery a few days before. He's not sure if the surgery was a factor in the stroke.
His goal is to return to his morning talk show on News Talk 1310 WIBA as soon as he can.