Daughter shares how father’s recovery from stroke inspired

Joe Perez

With the American Heart Association Heart Walk in a few days on Saturday, Oct. 6, at FIU’s Maidique Campus, Community Newspapers shares part of an essay written by Natalie Perez. Her father, Joe, has survived a stroke against all odds and resumed a normal life as a police officer. Natalie writes: BY NATALIE PEREZ

A hero can often be defined as a person of distinguished courage and ability but these days your hero or idol usually may consist of a front man of your favorite band or a celebrity.

My hero may not be a well-known person but he is the type of hero not regularly acknowledged. My father is my hero and not only is he my hero he is a police officer. Dad risks his life on a daily basis to make others safe.

Six years back my father, Joe, had a stroke that affected the right side of his brain and left side of his body. Doctors said he would not fully recover or be able to return to work. (He was only 39 years old with a wife and three children ages 7, 12 and 16.) For nearly a year, Dad worked hard to be able to get his life back in order and never gave up. It was not easy. In that year of recovery, my father taught me struggles and challenges make you stronger. Despite the grim prognosis of his doctors, he fought hard and was finally able to return to work. Now Dad is better than ever and has shown how one can accomplish anything with effort and hard work.

The Perez family once again will participate in the American Heart Association Walk on Oct. 6, 7:30 a.m., at FIU’s Maidique Campus and invite all to join this worthy cause. Whether you are paying it forward or paying it back like the Perez family, the 2012 Heart Walk promises to be a fun-filled morning of family fun that all will enjoy.

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