Lee and Michelle Pearson
On February 24, 2022, the love of my life had a stroke. We spent 25 days in the hospital as his body healed. It was during his last session of speech therapy before being discharged from the hospital when I was informed Lee had aphasia. At this point of his recovery, I thought this was a term to explain the current struggles he was having with his speech and that this struggle would be short lived.
Little did I know… Over the course of the next months, I learned more than I cared to know about APHASIA. A disorder, among many, that I wish did not exist.
It is difficult to witness the struggles Lee has expressing the brilliance that exist in his mind. You see, aphasia does not represent the intellect of my husband. His memory is great and his level of intelligence is amazing. This same story holds true for other people who have unwillingly befriended this thing called aphasia. It affects their ability to express the words that are very clearly thought in their mind. If this was not enough for them to struggle with, they also struggle with information coming at them too quickly.
When we came home from the hospital, it was disheartening to witness my once multi tasking, fast talking husband struggle to express a series of words. After a few weeks, it was devastating to watch my outgoing, loving, enthusiastic best friend slowly withdraw from the world around him. He would not answer the phone or text. Other than therapy, he had limited interest in socializing. As Lee continued out patient therapy, we were encouraged to get involved with TAP. After one zoom call with Maura, Lee was immediately excited. At a point in Lee’s recovery when he was beginning to doubt himself and lose hope in recovery, TAP provided him with a different outlook and determination.
TAP provides Lee with a community of people who are on a similar journey and understand what he is experiencing. Most of Lee’s sessions are usually led by Abbe and there is lots of great conversation and laughter. Lee currently attends 3 therapy sessions a week and he looks forward to them each week. While listening to a few of his zoom sessions, I have witnessed a group of people encourage each other; teach each other and share lots of wonderful laughter. The environment that TAP has established provides hope for healing. It provides an environment of acceptance, encouragement and a future for better communication. Maura’s passion for a better future for people with aphasia is amazing. This passion reflects through the time she spends working to make life better for those who suffer from aphasia and for the support this organization provides for their loved ones. She surrounds herself with people who share this same passion to bring the vision for TAP full circle. If your budget allows, please donate to this incredible organization. They provide their services for only $5 a session. Lee has people in his zoom sessions from Charlotte, Cary, Dunn, Raleigh, etc. It provides an opportunity for fellowship and therapy at little cost to those who cannot drive and do not have transportation.