Stroke Rehabilitation – Robert’s Story
On 19 May 2005 Robert , a 42 year old ,extremely active and highly intelligent person, who ran his own Financial consultancy business for the past 12 years and was doing an open university course in French language, suffered a stroke.
The stroke resulted in damage to the left hand side of the brain which controls the right hand side of your body and your communication skills.
Robert regained consciousness after a week to be faced with the fact that he had no feeling or use of the whole of the right hand side of his body and was unable to utter or read a single word.
After six months in hospital and rehabilitation getting him to the point where he could actually stand and walk a few steps with the aid of a stick he was allowed to come home. During the four months he was in rehabilitation he was receiving two or three speech therapy sessions a week. When he was discharged he could say the odd word but very often all he could utter was “THINGY”.
Post discharge Robert received one speech therapy session a week for one hour on the NHS which was supplemented by personal assistance by me, his wife, going through speech therapy exercises and to retrain his brain to read by reading the words out loud and getting him to repeat them which was carried out daily.
Slowly things improved with Robert now being able to say single words and not just “THINGY”, but after six months this input was insufficient more expert help was required. Contact was made via the Speech Therapy On Line site with Julie Andrews. Julie met with Robert on 4 July 2006 to carry out an initial test to assess his abilities.
For the next twelve months to June 2007 Julie has seen Robert for an hour session twice a week in addition to the one hour session provided by the NHS. The work carried out by Julie complemented the weekly sessions with the NHS therapist wonderfully never being exactly the same to be boring or confusing but tackling a similar aspect of the speech problems.
Julie has a fantastically lively personality always full of enthusiasm which lifts Robert and encourages him to carry on even when he is down and depressed. The progress made over the last twelve months has been extraordinary.
Robert can now string together five or six words, his personal confidence has improved enormously and he enjoys each session, well almost all !!! Julie discovered a particular, fundamental point that Robert was unable to cope with because he found it difficult.
The NHS speech therapist had covered this point a few months before but when Robert argued and evaded the issue she let him and went on to other matters. As this was a fundamental matter it reared its head at a later date and when Julie tried to tackle the problem she was faced with the same brick wall from Robert. Julie was concerned with the response and contacted me. I spoke to Robert at length and discovered that he would not co operate on this matter because he found it difficult and humiliating. I passed this response on to Julie who has sympathetically persevered with the matter and has now overcome Robert’s fear. He has successfully mastered this fundamental step which has resulted in overall improvement and confidence.
Robert is now thanks to Julie well on the road to recovery and he hopes to have regained his full communication skills by this time next year.