Three and a half weeks ago Mike suffered a stroke that his wife Jill described as ‘severe’. When I heard the news I assumed they were contacting us to say they’d be unable to attend the Natural Juice Junkie retreat, I was wrong…

Despite living in Alaska in the US, Mike and Jill had decided that maybe the retreats was the best place for Mike to recover. The friends thought they were crazy, but they continued with their 30 hour journey as planned.

When he arrived at the retreat Mike looked sick and was finding it difficult to walk, dragging his foot rather than being able to lift it. His stroke had left him with trouble coordinating his movements and with no feeling on the left-hand side. When he had the stroke of his body. He also had trouble speaking as there was a delay between the brain telling his mouth what to say and him being able to actually say it.

His transformation in just 2 weeks at the Natural Juice Junkie Retreat has been incredible and Jill found here arthritis symptoms disappeared too!

Video transcript:

Jill: Three and a half weeks ago, Michael suffered a severe stroke. It wasn’t a little one. It was what they call midrange and the effect that that had on him was deadness on the left-hand side. It was a terrible shock to both of us. He had trouble walking. He had trouble coordinating any movement on the left-hand side of his body and he had no feeling on the left-hand side. When he had the stroke, he also had trouble creating words from his mind. There was a delay between the brain telling his mouth what to say and him saying it, so he was in, he was really very poorly.

When he had his stroke he just kept saying right there in the hospital, “We’re still going to Turkey,” and I was amazed, and the neurologist said, “I’m not sure about that,” because we live in Alaska. It’s a long way away, but it was absolutely the right thing for us to do. The transformation in him is extraordinary.

Mike: I was overweight and three and a half weeks ago I’d had a stroke. My blood pressure has always been a little high and I had high cholesterol, it was 265. My stroke was a real wake-up call.

Jill: The symptoms that remained after, well, all the way here to Turkey actually. He had to have assistance with the airport. He couldn’t walk very far and he was dragging his left foot. He got very, very tired very, very quickly, and really he was very, really very poorly. Most of our friends told us we were nuts to consider the journey.

Mike: Since we’ve been here, Kate and Neil have been great. They’ve been great hosts. They’ve had some great wisdom for us and they’ve had some great classes, and most important thing about this place is it’s changed the way we look at food. Whether we cheat on what we know, we’ll always know in our hearts that what to stay away from and what we’re supposed to do, but as Neil was saying, “There’s no bad foods.” I learned about sugar. I learned about milk and what too much of that in your diet can do to you, do to your body, and so it’s been a real education.

Jill: After we’ve been here about eight days, we decided to go to Ephesus, which is not the easiest day out. He had made such an extraordinary recovery that previous week that we felt that he was able to actually walk. The hotel here provided a wheelchair for him because that’s how bad he was, and so the very thought of him managing a walker around Ephesus, which was a fantastic day out, was really I think most people would’ve thought we’d gone mad.

However, he walked for three hours on really quite uneven terrain and hilly terrain and had a terrific day, and that was a really good measure of how much he’d improved over the time period that he’s been here. It still amazes us both.

Mike: I love Turkey. The people here are great, so don’t be afraid to come to Turkey if you’re from somewhere else in the world because we came clear from Alaska, and it was certainly worth it. It was certainly worth it. It’s rejuvenated me. Like I said, when I first got here I couldn’t hardly walk, and this has been the perfect vacation for me as far as my health.

Jill: I came last year, and when I came last year there was absolutely no doubt in my mind that I was going to come back. As in fact, we’ve both committed to come back next year. My favourite part of the retreat has really been the learning. It’s a wonderful environment, for the fantastic paradise to set a retreat.

It’s been the inspiration by Kate and by Neil, and the lessons that we went to, the films are very inspirational, very informative. Really, for me, it was the time that I spent with Neil and with Kate and learning, learning, and believe me, they were so helpful with the knowledge that they have. It’s clear from the beginning that their objective is for us to do as well as we possibly can and to learn as much as is possible.

I broke my leg last year, and as a result, I gained quite a few pounds. When we came here the objective really was initially just to get Mike as stable as possible and to bring him into a really good healing environment, which from last year I knew this would be. However, both of us have lost 12 pounds, 12 pounds for Michael and 12 pounds for me, and it’s really set me on the road to a healthier lifestyle. On Neil’s recommendation, we’ve ordered a juicer. It’ll be there when we get home, and we will be implementing all of the changes that we’ve done here into our everyday lifestyle.

My husband wants me to mention my hand. I have an arthritic thumb, as you can see this one here, and it’s very painful. It’s on my right hand. Until we came here, I couldn’t open my blood pressure tablets because I couldn’t open the childproof container, and it occurred to me only this morning, it doesn’t hurt. It hasn’t actually hurt since I came here, whatsoever.

Furthermore, I felt a bit lightheaded after I’d been here three or four days, went to the doctor here, who’s at anyone’s disposal. He took my blood pressure and I needed to half the dose of blood pressure medication, and that, that, that’s fantastic. Our objective now is for both of us to get off all medications and to become as fit as we can do at this point in our lives.


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