12 Days of Tap 2018: Day 12
Rebuilding My Life, One Speech at a Time!
– Jeff Charles –
I am Jeff Charles and I survived a stroke that took 20% of my brain in February 2017. When I became conscious after my stroke I realized I could not walk, swallow, speak or write. I had aphasia and could not spell or concentrate. When I left the hospital rehab center 6 weeks after the stroke, I could swallow, talk and walk.
I started going to TAP almost a year ago to work on the other deficits. My time at TAP has been extremely fruitful in many ways. My aphasia is improving, and pronunciation and modulation of my voice is now good enough to give presentations on stroke. I can read more pages along with audible books (40 vs. 10 pages) in a sitting and remember all the details of the plots. My writing is improving and I am starting to get the ability to spell again. I can sign on to my email account without help and can read my emails.
My time working with TAP has provided me the vital tools to rebuild my life. I have made many new friends in my book club and writing groups. I have volunteered to give speeches for TAP fundraising events. I believe there is no better way to demonstrate the impact of this unbelievable organization than for people to see the product of their efforts.
From the TAP Home Office:
There is a term for individuals like Jeff Charles… it’s a “Change Agent”. An individual who despite, or perhaps because of, the challenges that they have been dealt…makes a tremendous impact on the community! Jeff and his wife, Linda, have seen this role since day one.
I recall discussing neuroplasticity with them, referring them to articles and books, and every morsel was devoured with passion and personal commitment to the process. I wasn’t the only one impressed… Jeff was asked to return to the Duke Neurosciences Stroke Stars program to share his story. His important insights into the entire continuum of care for stroke provides lessons for medical / healthcare personnel, other stroke survivors and basically every person he encounters.
Thank you, Jeff….for believing in us, in our mission and for sharing your story to help this important end of year campaign.