DAY 1 – “I Can” and “I Did”

Lin D’Antonio

My name is Lin D’Antonio. I had my stroke on June 12, 2015 just five days after returning from a trip to England to visit family living there (not a picture of England, but Helen, GA). It was early Friday morning, just about 3 a.m. when I woke my husband, Dominic, from his sound sleep to tell him we forgot to put out our trash and recycling for Friday pick-up. But, for some reason unknown to me, Dominic couldn’t understand anything I was saying.
According to him, it sounded like gobbley-gok, incoherent and meaningless. At first he thought I was having a nightmare and talking in my sleep, but realized I was sitting up in bed trying to relay my message about the trash pick-up to him. He decided to rush me to hospital where I was given a scan and diagnosed as having a stroke and confined to hospital for 5 days.

After my discharge, I went to speech therapy at REX in Cary and met Abby Simon, my speech therapist, who introduced me to and encouraged me to continue at TAP. This was some of the best advice and encouragement anyone could have given me at that time. I started attending various TAP sessions and am thankful that I did.

Before my stroke, I was working in REX Cary for nearly 15 years. I tried to return to work, but because of my Aphasia I was not able to work the mandatory 12 hour shift which was too long then and even now.

In addition, English is my second language, Tagalog being my first language. I struggled inside recalling and retrieving words and trying to translate them from one language to the other. I found people thinking I had an English language problem and not Aphasia. I also was surprised to learn that like me before my stroke, most people, even health care professionals don’t know what Aphasia is and never heard of it.

TAP has given me the opportunity to build my confidence again while doing volunteer work every Tuesday and Wednesday where I find friendship, commitment, determination and hope. I pray that one day everyone will be better and we will use the magic words “I CAN” instead of I Can’t.

I would like to say “thank you” to TAP for bringing Aphasia to the forefront of State politicians and the legislature and making them aware of how many people are suffering from Aphasia.

And mostly, I would like to give special thanks to my family especially to my husband who has continually supported me throughout my recovery.