Meridian has produced a number of hot commodities ... musicians, actors, writers – and now possibly the country's hottest husband.
Local cardiologist Dr. Michael Purvis is one of 25 finalists for America's Hottest Husband for 2015, a contest sponsored by Redbook Magazine. Purvis was nominated for the honor by his wife, Ann Carol.
"I saw the contest in the magazine and that you could win a vacation and thought, 'That would be nice,'" she said. "But I really did it to honor him."
In her 500-word essay on why her husband should be selected America's Hottest Husband, Ann Carol focused more on Purvis' character than his physical attributes.
"My husband, Mike, is hot not just physically, but in all the right ways!" she wrote. "External beauty is not what he is about ... that's just a perk for me. He's smart, funny, generous, loving and forgiving.
She spoke of Purvis' relationship with his patients at Internal Medicine Clinic.
"He is a doctor who cares deeply about his patients and they love him. Patients tell me all the time how much they love him because he takes the time to actually explain things to them and to make sure they understand what's going on. They know he really cares about them.
Ann Carol also shared her husband's volunteerism and philanthropic contributions – including serving as a Boy Scout leader – his dedication to helping others and him being a great father to their three kids and "Pop" to their grandson Benjamin, who is 18 months.
But it is her story of Purvis' willingness to put aside his personal feelings about adoption that is most touching.
"After we had our son, Jake, we struggled with infertility for many years. He (Purvis) knew I was interested in adopting, but he had many fears about the whole process. He put his fears aside for the longing of my heart and we adopted a baby girl, Ashley, when Jake was 12 years old. Then, when I voiced that I thought we were supposed to adopt again, he just said, 'Okay. Whatever makes you happy! We then adopted Valerie (who is now 3) as a baby. He is the best Dad!"
And, the couple's adoption story has another chapter in the works.
"Recently, I started volunteering with a children's home which is two hours away. We are sponsoring a little girl there," Ann Carol said. "I went to meet her and ended up meeting her little sister and her big brother, who, unknown to me, were there, too. They were precious. I hesitantly hinted to him (Purvis) that I would be interested in adopting these kids if they became available for adoption. Without ever having met these kids, he said I could let the home know that we would be interested in adopting these kids. What man does that? He had never met them, but trusted my intuition and loves me enough to take on three more lives and the responsibility that comes with them, if that was what I felt we needed to do."
As heart touching her husband's story is, Ann Carol said she did not expect things to go further than her nomination to the Redbook contest.
Neither did Purvis, who admits to not being too happy upon learning what his wife of 24 years had done.
"I was a little annoyed and embarrassed. I'm really a private person, especially when it comes to things involving the Internet," he said of the contest, which determines the winner by online voting. "But then I decided it didn't matter, they are not going to pick me."
To both their surprise, the 500-word essay was one of 25 selected from more than 700 submissions. And though somewhat uncomfortable about the recognition – he's gotten some ribbing and comments such as "It's getting hot in here," when he enters the room – Purvis said he is honored and that it's worth his wife's happiness.
"I think the contest is more about being hot not because of appearance, but personality, love and support," he said. "My wife's essay was about our adoptions and me being more open to it ... Over the years, I've recognized that this was a need that she had and so I dropped my objections and it's been a very big blessing," he said.
"That experience has made me more open to doing what God plans for you; I think my objections would largely be selfish. I think adoption helped me grow as a person. And she seeing me grow from 'No, I don't want to adopt' to being open to it and continuing to be open to it and following her heart, I think that has meant a lot to her."
And while the couple does not expect Purvis to win the national title, the nominee said it would be nice ... for reasons other than being recognized as "hot."
"The winner receives a vacation (5-day/4-night trip for two valued at $5,400 to the Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, including accommodations such as a Premier Waterview King room, daily all-inclusive food and beverages, a one-hour couples massage)," Purvis said. "The contest winner won't be announced probably until next spring and our 25th wedding anniversary is that summer. That would be fantastic to win a vacation to a tropical island for our anniversary."