Reading Time: 2 minutes Mike spent five days in ICU and vows never to take his health for granted again Credit: Adobe. Do not use without permission.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A man has shared his story of transforming his life since going plant-based after a “life-threatening” stroke.

Mike Lewis began “abusing” his body in his 20s when he says he began making poor dietary choices and drinking a lot of alcohol.

From life-threatening stroke to plant-based health

“I went from being a fit 21-year-old at 175 pounds to being an unhealthy and depressed 25-year-old at 230 pounds,” he said via Forks Over Knives.

And despite his brother’s suggestions to try a whole-food plant-based diet, Lewis kept to his unhealthy diet of binge-drinking and “overeating.”

“I still felt that I was young enough to get away with it,” he said.

But back in October 2019, Lewis developed an “intense” headache. The following week, he went to pay the bill in a restaurant when he noticed his arm start to shake uncontrollably.

He explains: “I was having a seizure. I remember everything vividly until a few seconds after I hit the ground. There happened to be a server working that night who knew what to do for someone having a seizure, fortunately. 

“So, she rolled me on my side and put a pillow under my head. Despite her efforts, I still aspirated, but there’s a very good chance that I might have died on the scene if it weren’t for her.”

Many health professionals recommend a whole-food plant-based diet

Health transformation

Here, he was rushed to the ICU where he was attached to a ventilator for five days. The doctors informed him he had suffered from an ischemic stroke, and that it had been caused by his lifestyle choices.

In the wake of his recovery, Lewis’ family rallied round and encouraged him to eat more plant-based foods and give up coffee.

“I couldn’t put my family through another near-death experience,” he said. And as a result, he began doing more physical exercise, from walks to bike rides and yoga. Moreover, he made a whole-food plant-based diet a “permanent fixture” in his life.

The lifestyle change has allowed him to feel more grateful for his health, and he says it also led him to meet his partner Rachel.

“I wish that it didn’t take a stroke for me to stop ignoring the red flags and abusing my body. If you’re reading this and struggling with poor lifestyle habits, I hope this inspires you to take your self-care more seriously and that you make a change before you and your family have to go through something like what my family and I did,” he revealed.

Emily is a News and Features Writer for Plant Based News. She has previously worked as a journalist in Devon, UK, reporting on local issues from politics to the environment.