Hiding behind a Smile – Johnny Parky

I have known Johnny for a few years now through the Parkinson’s support groups on Facebook. Although we have never met I have had numerous face to face conversations with him and made a few videos on our Focused Friends YouTube Channel and found him to be a friendly, lovely and an easygoing chap.
I was delighted when earlier this year he asked to join me on a healthier lifestyle and weight loss journey.  I spoke with Johnny for sometime about writing this article, I think you will agree it was a very big step for him , I hope it helps with his healing by sharing it.

In recent weeks I have been unable to report updates from Johnny regarding his weight loss progress due to suffering several setbacks. However, Johnny decided to bravely share these setbacks.

Johnny suffered a traumatic event in in his twenty’s and recently was diagnosed with PTSD , for years he has tried to live through his ordeal but now understands the importance of opening up, not to mention more recently dealing with losing his Job and driving licence due to his Parkinson’s Diagnosis.  Johnny also lost his beloved dog, Scooby. 

Many of us that know Johnny through Facebook support groups and Radio Parkies. see or rather hear a happy, smiley, humorous chap that is always willing to help his fellow friends in the Parkinson’s community, In most parts this is true, but, at times he uses his humour to hide his troubles. 

Johnny was 23 when he lost his mum to suicide, she suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia and through his childhood she would spend time in and out of hospital, it wasn’t easy but they always managed to get through the tough times.

Sadly, Johnny’s mum took her own life in 1992 and Johnny still has the extremely painful memories of seeing her laying on the ground while onlookers watched (one even taking a video of the tragedy). It is this traumatic event that Johnny has struggled with and the reason he bravely decided to share his story with us, in the hope it may help others to reach out for support if they are struggling too.  

Johnny recently spent three days in hospital with an infection causing his legs to swell and on top of everything else the world has /is going through a pandemic which has not helped during his weight loss journey. The effects of suffering with PTSD and feeling low has made it incredibly hard for Johnny to find the motivation to do anything, although, he has managed to continue on his healthy eating plan and still been able to do a little exercise, which is amazing.

Johnny has suffered some dark times, especially leading up to and the beginning of his Parkinson’s diagnosis which required time for him to accept the Degenerative condition. Up to that point he pretended everything was okay.
Humour is a big part of Johnny’s personality, he likes to make people smile and laugh, and he likes to be optimistic, But, at times he uses his humour to protect himself rather than face his feelings.

Johnny realised he needed extra support after becoming involved with the healthier lifestyle on Focused Friends. This encouraged him to seek help from his doctors. He is now receiving professional support as well as the continued support from his beloved wife of 13 years, Suze.

So watch this space as Johnny returns to living his healthier lifestyle and weight loss journey as I share his progress along side mine.

I would like to take this opportunity and thank Johnny for sharing his story with us.

If you are struggling or need help with any of the issues mentioned above, please seek professional medical help. Link below may be helpful 


She was an amazing person to contend with what she went through in her life. It Breaks my heart when I think of it. The attitude and stigma of mental health issues 30-40 years ago was very much different to what it is today.

Johnny Parky

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