"I didn’t know that it was called aphasia. I didn’t understand."
- Emma, Young survivor of stroke
Young survivors of stroke share their experiences with aphasia and how they manage it.
In September 2016, Kim Beesley received a call saying that her daughter Emma, at the age of 33, had suffered a stroke.
It came as a complete shock to Kim and the rest of the family that stroke could affect someone young and fit.
As a result of the stroke Emma has ongoing paralysis of her right arm, hand, and ankle, and has aphasia. The following years have been a test of Emma's courage and determination as she slowly regained her ability to speak.
Emma has made significant gains despite an experience of rehabilitation that was not ideal. This experience included a lack of understanding of aphasia and the mental health challenges it can cause.
As a result, Kim has an overwhelming desire to help spread awareness of young stroke and of the challenges carers face, and to advocate for more widespread understanding of the invisible disability that is aphasia.
Recently Kim caught up with Kath Yong, Physiotherapist and Team Leader on StrokeLine 1800 787 653. They talked about aphasia, the impacts of living with aphasia, and what self-directed rehab activities she and her husband, John, put in place to help Emma.
Rachel shares that she has tried online dating apps like E-harmony. She says "And back then, I kind of wrote a lot of things, and I told them that I had a stroke. I have aphasia. I may look fine, but on the inside, sometimes I have a bit of trouble to to talk properly. But I am normal and I told them that I want someone that will accept me the way that I am. But if they didn’t accept me the way I am, they could P off. You know, I just I wasn’t going to have put up with it because they can look at us and they should be able to see that, you know, we are just normal."