12 Days of Tap 2020: Day 5
A Setback and a Reason for Hope
– Dexter Davis –
Maura’s Intro: One of the great joys of TAP Unlimited is the ability to give the gift of hope. This opportunity begins on the day of the initial consultation with TAP and continues throughout the programming choices, trainings and the groups themselves. We take great pride in partnering with the amazing hospitals/medical centers and rehabilitation programs in the area to create smooth transitions that are wrapped in the spirit of connectedness and positivity. It wasn’t always like this. Don’t get me wrong, we have ALWAYS had the support and engagement from our community of providers at all levels of the continuum of care. But referrals often came when an individual was months or years into their rehabilitation journey. It was THIS community that helped us change the timeline for the better. The earlier a person is referred to TAP, for example, the more we all noticed families learning the do’s and don’ts of communication support, the less we saw people isolated or frightened about what this path would look like and the more we could support the work of the speech pathologists in the hospitals, rehab centers, home health, etc… it was a great meeting of the minds! And it still happens today!
I have a saying that I use, profess and even use as my platform… it’s “Own Your Journey.” This comes from understanding that all the tools, resources, support and training won’t be enough without complete buy-in and ownership by the individual on the journey. When I met Dexter, I knew in minutes that he was unstoppable by this very character trait. He told his stroke story with an understanding that this event was the start of a new chapter in his life and that he was equipped (or he’d find the tools to equip himself) to address this challenge head-on! The growth mindset was evident … see a challenge, seek out the strategy to compensate and rehabilitate and then practice it…again and again.
Dexter has quickly become a valued member of the TAP family…he is counted on for assessment of a situation and a way to find a lesson in every roadblock. Yes, strokes are a “set-back” and a difficult interruption to your life plan. And yes, strokes happen to young, healthy and active individuals. But in this story, and in all of his interactions with TAP…Dexter reminds us that we are not alone and there is reason for hope!
Set Back- Stroke February 4th 2019
I went to the urgent care to take care of my gout which I was in pain.
The doctor/ nurse discharge diagnosis was Atrial Fibrillation, High Pressure, Gout, Ischemic Stroke, Impaired Speech (Aphasia) and heart failure.
My family drive and flight to Boston from North Carolina, mom, brother and niece to support me. I wake up in ICU a day later and they walked into ICU. I remember the doctors asking questions about me and I didn’t understate the questions.
I had Aphasia!
It was tough to communicate with my family, nurse and doctors. I was frustrated communicate to people in the family. I was able to spell some words and write it down to communicate. I spent 12 days in the Cambridge hospital to improve my heart and Aphasia. I have been working on my heart and my speech and Aphasia since these days in Boston.
I have change so much to prevent to another stroke:
- Closer to God
- Take medicine
- Keep follow up doctors’ appointments
- Changed my diet of vegetables and fruit
- Be active 45 minutes three times a week. Walking and riding my bike around Charles River park in Boston. My favorite place to recover my stroke and reduce stress!
My family research Aphasia and educate to cope with a family member that had a stroke with Aphasia. Aphasia has many types of Aphasia.
My family and me noticed my biggest weakness is audio comprehension.
My niece found TAP unlimited online and thought this program would continue recover my speech. I have met with some good people at TAP unlimited, so I can progress with this condition and life with Aphasia. I have also met some golf buddies!
From the TAP Home Office:
TAP Unlimited’s End of Year Campaign provides TAP Stakeholders an opportunity to embrace the reason for our efforts and hear from those who have been impacted by aphasia. Aphasia, as you know, can be a devastating impairment resulting in social isolation, depression and disengagement from the passions and purpose of an individual’s life. It can interrupt a career, destroy plans for retirement and threaten relationships. TAP Unlimited is embarking on its 18th year of service to those effected by aphasia across the Triangle and beyond.
Our ability to pivot and create a virtual world of connection possibilities, to stay afloat and to even thrive, has been, in no small way, a result of the generosity of our donor base. Today, we ask that you continue to support TAP by doing the following:
- Share this story. Share it on your social media, in emails to your family/friends and to those you work with…it will increase awareness of Aphasia and provide hope to those who feel alone in this journey.
- Consider an end-of-year gift to TAP. You can donate online and make it a gift by honoring someone on the aphasia journey.
- Donations can also be mailed in the form of a check or a donation of stock. Email us for more information.
Thank you for your faith in our organization and for supporting the 12 Days of TAP!