Improving the lives of people with aphasia and their families


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My accident occurred on 2nd October 1990.   I was 44 years old.  I had only just had my birthday in September.

I was born in England and came out to Australia, when I was17.  I worked as a jackeroo. My pay was only 30 pounds per month, so I relocated to Sydney, where I earned 30 pounds a week at the Colgate/Palmolive factory.

The stroke and recovery became my life reborn again.
I gave up smoking, 50 cigs a day was the normal – a cigarette in my mouth continually, so it was no surprise when they X-rayed me, my lungs were black.
I stopped drinking in the pub after work.

I became conscious in the Flinders Medical Centre.   I stayed in the hospital for four weeks, unable to talk.  I wanted to say words, but they just would not come out of my mouth.

I was sent to Repat. Hospital and stayed 9 months in the stroke ward, where I had intensive speech therapy.  I was adamant I wanted to talk; using hand gestures and a few expletives I was able to achieve daily sessions.

At the Repat, the occupational therapists taught me to cope with daily life on my own.

Eventually they found me a ground floor unit at Marden,  where I was able to look after myself with the help of a carer, 3 hours a week and a motorized scooter. My mobile traymobile is a great asset. I can move objects from room to room with my working arm.

The Talkback group at Resthaven Paradise has been a wonderful help.  I was an original member.  Now I work as a volunteer in the same group, helping people to communicate.

I will be receiving an acknowledgment award from Resthaven for 10 years as a volunteer.

For 18 months I attended the computer club, where I learnt many skills to apply to my home computer.  I enjoy searching the internet, currently gaining information on tropical fish.

It has been 20 years since my stroke.

I have changed my address and now live in a purpose built house in Magill S.A. a friendly neighbourhood.

I visit the local older people for a chat in their residential care facility.

My new interest is watching and enjoying tropical fish in a large tank I recently acquired. This is an alternative to watching sport on T.V.

Gardening continues to keep me busy.  I have a large collection of pot plants and grow veggies and flowers.

Meeting my friends at Marden each week has kept me in touch with other stroke/accident people.  We enjoy sharing our news over a cup of coffee, laughing at each others jokes.  We have been together for seven years.

I volunteer at the Talkback office each week, attending to the phone and the computer, as well as volunteering at the Paradise Talkback group.

A carer comes in to help 3 hours a week, otherwise I look after myself, cooking, cleaning, shopping and attending appointments.

I have slowed down in my speech, and want people to talk to me slowly and clearly.

  Telephoning: 08 8443 5555 The Talkback Association for Aphasia Inc.
302 South Road, Hilton.
South Australia, 5033