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What One Woman Learned From Having A Stroke At Age 47

When Mary arrived at the Spaulding Institution, she was still struggling with her speech and thought that her teaching and administration career was over. But another speech therapist, who was working at Boston University, encouraged Mary to come to a group of community aphasia. "Everyone had a story, and everyone was talking like me," says Borrelli. "And I thought: Oh my God, I found a house with these people." She did not really speak during the first two months when she attended the meetings, but she began to open and her communication continued to improve

At the recommendation of her Therapist she also applied and was accepted to an intensive aphasia pilot program. Mary also learned to take care of her again: tying her shoes, taking a bath, breaking an egg only using her left hand. After four years of adaptive driving lessons, Mary has recovered her driving license. And a BU professor and graduate students launched an online campaign to raise money to equip his house so that she could return to the second floor of her house, which she had not has done since his stroke. Now she has a chairlift that takes her to the floor so that she can use all her house.

PLUS: How to spot a stroke before it's too late

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