The Lucky One
By Simon Barton
I had my stroke in 2013, and as is the case with so many other stroke survivors, I never had a stroke before and for the longest time, remained clueless about the so-called recovery journey I was about to embark upon when being wheeled out of WakeMed Rehab hospital a few weeks later.
It was my very good fortune to be referred to Maura Silverman to take me on as my first (and only) out-patient Speech Therapist, fortunate not only because she was extremely talented at helping a wretch like me, consistently testing my mettle and not only fortunate that her practice was located within the clinic of my Physical & Occupational Therapist ( Steps For Recovery in Cary) and not only fortunate that she was the first to encourage me to start writing but I was particularly fortunate that after a few weeks she recommended I participate with one of TAP’s groups that meet on Thursday evenings a group called, “Back To Work” which was made up of a variety of guys and gals from quite diverse backgrounds but each with the common complaint of having experienced a brain injury of some kind and it was within this group setting that gave my first exposure to the condition known as aphasia – a condition that I had not heard of before and the fact that my injury was not located in that vulnerable area within the left side of the brain, it was a condition I was spared, again, fortunately for me. But the best part of rubbing shoulders with these Aphasia warriors is that I got to see, first-hand, the grit, determination and fighting spirit of ordinary folk in quite extraordinary ways and this fact has been the single biggest source of my motivation to not only further my writing exploits but has significantly helped shape my whole approach to what has become a personal journey of discovery and reinvention.
I have been associated with TAP for well over 10 years and will be still attending my Thursday evening group meeting, faces might have changed over this time but I still enjoy the same comradery, and leave each meeting fully inspired and ready to get back tackling the writing my third book – my second was successfully published and launched at last month’s Strides For Speech Event!
For all of the above reasons, I shall be eternally grateful to TAP and continue to regard myself as definitely being one of the lucky ones! Best I go and get my lottery ticket now before I forget – I need to find a way to donate more, or anyone reading this is welcome to help them out – TAP is great, not proud and will gladly put your money to good use! Happy Christmas to our TAP family and hoping 2023 be a great year for us all!