In April 1981 I suffered a stroke as a result of a car accident. The
stroke left my right body half paralysed (hemiplegia) and
robbed me of my speech (aphasia).
I had just been appointed as a teacher of English and French
at a high school and was in the prime of my life so I struggled
hard to overcome my disabilities and tried every possible
therapy that came my way. I have since recovered to the extent
that I can walk on my own, drive a car, ride a tricycle and
carry out a more or less normal conversation.
I run the household and have many hobbies: going on walks,
swimming, gardening, photography and travelling with my husband
Victor. I organised a self-help group (SHG) some 10 years
ago which is still going strong.
I enjoy my life hugely so I have written a book about what
it feels like to be half-paralysed and unable to communicate
one´s thoughts and what it takes to recover from the
The book is not yet published but a short version of my story
appeared in the German version of Reader´s Digest in
August 2000 which can be found (also an English translation)
The many experiences I made on my way to recovery and independence
could well be of interest to others. By others
is meant persons similarly afflicted, their relatives and
friends, medical personnel and all those who could suffer
a similar fate, i.e. everyone.
After all, there are 400,000 aphasics in Germany alone.
But normal persons know little about this condition
which arises when specific parts of the brain involved in
language expression (in my case the Broca area) suffer damage.
Aphasics cannot express themselves and are not understood
Understanding the condition is a prerequisite to recovering
I hope that my web page will contribute to this.