12 Days of Tap 2018: Day 6
– Robin King –
A rare early December winter ice/snow ‘event’ is forecast to impact the RDU area this weekend, but who can know for certain, and how does one prepare? The grocery, hardware, gas station and adult beverage stores will all benefit, we know, but where the snow or ice will fall (if at all) is anyone’s guess.
Similarly, who knew that Robin’s life journey would take this unexpected detour leading to TAP?
After experiencing a seizure 24 years ago, Robin learned he had an AVM in his brain. Due to its’ size and location, removal was not ideal, so medicine and periodic medical monitoring provided best course of action, all with little consequence to day to day family activities and experiences.
Fast forward through a rich and full life to six years ago, when Robin suffered an aneurysm/stroke. He was very fortunate in his recovery: returning to full time work in his beloved construction sales field, completing and moving to the “empty nest” house, and walking his only daughter down her path to marriage and happiness. An upbeat, determined, and positive outlook made it all possible!
That “ happily ever after” picture dissolved two years ago when Robin’s AVM ruptured, resulting in a new and very different reality of physical and cognitive challenges, including the-never-heard-of-before Aphasia. For the next year and a half, multiple surgeries, procedures, therapies, treatments, outreach, group sessions, social work interactions, programs and a LOT of professional wisdom helped Robin make big strides in physical progress, but much less in his ability to communicate effectively. When, six months ago, it began to seem that all resources to continue Robin’s recovery journey were exhausted, we fortuitously were introduced to Maura and TAP .
Robin enthusiastically attends the weekly Aphasia Day Group, and is already showing improvement in verbal skills, confidence and self-esteem. In fact, he is so enthusiastic about TAP, that there was no question of his choice to sing with his TAPTastic comrades rather than participate in a golf experience – on a beautiful Carolina Fall day!
We know that communication is, and will be, a challenge for Robin, but life is much richer today due to TAP’s culture, philosophy and real-world approach. He has quickly bonded and identified with the extended TAP family, feeling welcomed and valued. Like the commercial says: Priceless.
So, this season, we honor TAP.
With Gratitude, Michele and Robin King
From the TAP Home Office:
Robin and his family came for the TAP Consultation like any other family,…understanding the basics about aphasia and learning, firsthand, the impact that this frustrating communication disorder has on an entire family… but they also brought an open and receptive ear for the philosophy of TAP and appreciated the hope for continued progress as long as Robin was willing to work hard. And word-hard he does!! Robin doesn’t shy away from a challenge and requests cues so that he can maximize what he can express.
My favorite observations of Robin in TAP Unlimited programs, is his initiative… he arrives first, and wheels himself over to set up the table, anticipating who will need what and what materials will aid in the conversation. When people start arriving, Robin greets them all individually, stopping only briefly to put his coffee cup down on the table. He is generous with his laughter and smiles and has joined the TAPTastics both in practice and in concert! We couldn’t be happier that Robin and his family have joined us at TAP and appreciate all they bring to the family!