Loss of communication in the family

After being cut from speech therapy, lack of family communication has been devastating. Their three young children were afraid of their father, whose global aphasia hindered their relationships. Jamie focuses on every step of progress Kory has made so far

Jamie Alesch and her husband, Kory, are from Remsen, Iowa. Kory suffered a stroke on March 9, 2015. His stroke was caused by a blood clot that encompassed most of his left carotid artery. Jamie recalls, “we were given very little to no hope: he would remain in a vegetative state; he would never walk again, never talk again, and never know who we are.”

After spending around 5 months in a rehab hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, Kory is now walking and he’s mobile, independent, and able to do many of his daily independent needs and take care of himself. “But we still have had no speech. Speech therapy has always been cut for us. He wasn’t making the functional gains.”

When asked what’s been the toughest part of having aphasia, Jamie answered ,”It’s been tough on our children, on me, on our family, our friends, on Kory. That lack of communication. Kory was the rock of our family. He was so light-hearted, happy, hard-working, very involved dad, and husband, and friend. Everybody loved him and respected him and he was kind of always the life of the party, just could make people laugh. He was always determined and he took care of us and he was just always there for us.”

Jamie remembers the day she decided there had to be more out there to help Kory. “In October, out of the blue, …his speech session the therapist said he was no longer going to be receiving services because he wasn’t making those functional gains and it wasn’t ethical to continue on… That was probably, since we’ve been home, one of the most difficult nights for us. He was devastated.”

“I believe that he was devastated because he so badly wanted to talk to us again and communicate with us and talk to his children, because that has been hard on Kory and on them. They don’t know what daddy is saying, daddy tries to talk to them. We’ve seen some disconnect at times he’s still their daddy, they still love him, but there’s just been such disconnect between he and the kids because they don’t understand what he’s saying, and then he thinks they’re not respecting and listening to what he’s saying, and it’s just been kind of an ugly battle.”

Looking ahead, Jamie’s been considering what her upcoming challenges will be. “Going home I’ve thought, “What are people’s expectations? Are they going to expect him or want him, or think that he’s going to come home conversational… what I plan to do is just keep reiterating over and over how hard he has worked, how much progress he has made. My goal for going home is to kind of hone in on: look at what he’s done, look at where he is now compared to where he was when we first got here.”