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Alita N.


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.  When I share our experiences of those days, Alita corrects me and points out that she came home "with," not "in" a wheelchair. She was determined to not use the wheelchair that, as she says, "They made me get." 

For the next two years, Alita used every speech, PT, and OT therapy session that the insurance company would approve. Alita made significant progress, but desperately wanted her independence back. She wanted to return to caring for our three young sons, who were ages six, eight and 11 at the time of her stroke. Most importantly, she wanted to drive again! Alita met with an OT and passed all of the pre-driving tests. She then enrolled in driving classes in a modified car. The day that Alita passed her driving test was a significant milestone in her recovery! 

Today, our sons are older and no longer require the services of "Mom's Taxi," so Alita spends several days each month picking up other young stroke survivors and going to lunch or to stroke support group meetings. She is truly an inspiration to other stroke survivors in our community!

» Learn more about aphasia.


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