Ray describes how his wife, Karen, with severe Broca’s aphasia improved so much that “there isn’t anything she communicates that I can’t understand”. He strongly recommends “do it” to anyone who can attend the program
So what we did, talking to our speech pathologist at home, is we did some research. Thank god for the internet. It was recommended that we look into The Aphasia Center down here in St Petersburg. They were offering intensive aphasia treatment. That word intensive, for me, was what I was looking for for my wife Karen. I wanted her to come in here and be able to grab as much therapy as she possibly could. The Aphasia Center here in St Petersburg has done exactly as promised and there were really no promises per se except that they would work hard and they would work hard for five or six hours per day.
The environment here, the environment perpetuated by Dr. Bartels was phenomenal. The staff is phenomenal, the way everything is approached, the professionalism, I don’t call it a boot camp intensity, but the fervor at which the staff approaches everything is a wonderful thing to see in action. We got results! Lo and behold. All of sudden we got a word here, a word there. Writing communication went through the roof almost immediately. She was writing sentences. She gets to the point now where there isn’t anything she wants that I cannot understand and I can get the proper response from her. She’s done well. She’s done extremely well.
When people say to me, ‘was it worthwhile?’ because I’m already getting that for my children and my friends. Was it worthwhile?’ I would say that ‘yes, absolutely. The progress has been great.’ Is she speaking like me? No, but I never expected her to. What I wanted was for her to be able to start communicating again, to start becoming a whole person and getting back to reading a book possibly, or getting back to having some sort of a social life and not sitting in a corner during family time.
We’re at that stage were I’ve just left a group session where there was cake being partaken by everybody here and the dialogue between other patients is phenomenal. What I’ve seen with other patients with, the limited time I’ve spent with other patients, I sit there in awe and I’m impressed. My recommendation to you, non-solicited, no BS, straight up the top, is if you can do it, do it. If you love her or love him if you want to try to get ahead, come and give it a shot if you possibly can. I employ you to, I challenge you to. Maybe I’ll see you here sometime too because I’m coming back.