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Mark N.


Caregiver & Family

Almost ten years ago, at the young age of 43, my wife Alita had a major stroke. A fully-occluded left MCA interrupted the life-giving flow of blood to her brain. She had complete right-side paralysis, and was diagnosed with severe global aphasia. Alita could not speak one word or utter one sound. After seven weeks in in-patient care, Alita came home in a wheelchair.

Alita's stroke was a life-changing event for our entire family. I have accepted the responsibility of coordinating, and at times directing, her rehabilitation. I used children's books and educational software to create activities to help Alita's cognitive recovery, and to provide opportunities for Alita to spend much-needed time with our young sons. Our three sons, ages six, eight and 11, helped her as she relearned the ABC's, counting from one to 10 or reciting the days of the week. It was heart-warming and heart-breaking to watch the boys read to their mom. 

For the past ten years, I have been her caregiver and advocate. I have located new rehabilitation services, found new medical devices, made rehabilitation devices that are better suited for a stroke survivor and facilitated activities at stroke support group meetings. My wife and I are part of an innovative peer visitation program. We visit with stroke survivors and their families prior to discharge from in-patient care. We are a team that is able answer questions from the perspective of a stroke survivor and from a caregiver's point-of-view, and we serve as an ongoing resource.

» Learn more about aphasia.


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