Ankeny non-profit helps stroke survivor wedding dreams come true


ANKENY, Iowa – On Wednesday, the non-profit, On With Life, in Ankeny organized a man’s wedding after he suffered from a stroke in early 2021.

“I had a stroke on February tenth that affected my brainstem and cerebellum. It affected my ability to move any part of my body except my eyes,” said Michael Cooper, stroke survivor.

“We got engaged on Christmas of 2019. We hadn’t started planning the wedding yet when my stroke happened.”

On With Life admitted Cooper to its facility following his stroke. While there, he was able to work with a speech pathologist to help with communication. He also uses a device called eye-speak. It’s a device that allows Cooper to use his eyes to select a prompt that he developed with his speech pathologist to communicate with others.

“The name of our organization is On With Life, and that’s what we want people to do, yes, they sustained some sort of injury that dramatically changed their life, but it doesn’t mean things stop. So we want them to get back to anything that’s important to them,” said Megan Ihrke, a Speech-Language Pathologist with On With Life.

Fortunately, Cooper can move onward with life with a new wife by his side.

“It’s been a little rough, but I stood by his side the whole time, and I will continue to stand by his side,” said Stacy Cooper, Cooper’s wife.

“We love them, and we’re very happy for them,” said Michael Cooper, Cooper’s son.

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