Thomas, Emily, Emran

Aphasia Threads: Thomas, Emily, and Emran

Welcome to the Aphasia Threads Project, which weaves together three points-of-view: people with aphasia, caregivers, and the professionals who help each family navigate aphasia. Each week, we bring together three unrelated stories, one from each member of this triad, to learn from their experience. This week, we’ll hear from Thomas, a person with aphasia, who had a stroke 14 months ago while working as an emergency room nurse. Then, we’ll hear from Emily, who is a caregiver for her father who had a stroke when she was 10. Finally, we’ll hear from Emran in Jordan who did his master’s thesis on aphasia.

Aphasia Threads

Person with Aphasia

I was working as an emergency room nurse and trying to talk to the doctor when I was unable to speak because I was having a stroke. My aphasia started 14 months ago. It’s getting better, but I’m not back to work yet.


Aphasia Changes Your Life

I have gradually improved but have not able to go back to my hospital. I’ve had aphasia since February.

But There Are Things That Help

My speech therapist and contact therapy.

And Things You Learn Along the Way

Keep working hard every day.

What Caregivers and Professionals Can Learn From Me

Starting over again, learning English again, and always slow. Even though I was a nurse, the people at my hospital don’t know how to help.

Aphasia Threads


When I was 10 years old, my dad suffered a stroke leaving him with language difficulties including aphasia.


Aphasia Changes Your Life

Aphasia has impacted my life so much. Growing up, I became more independent because I knew it was what I needed to do so I could help my mom take care of my dad. For a while, my relationship with my dad was weird. I felt like I didn’t know him anymore, but it was more of me not totally understanding his language difficulties and how they made him feel. Now that I am older, our relationship is very different. I am currently in graduate school pursuing a degree in speech-language pathology, and my dad and I have never been closer because I understand his struggles much better now.

But There Are Things That Help

Old fashioned pen and paper! My dad carries a little notepad and a pen around everywhere he goes.

And Things You Learn Along the Way

Be patient with your loved one! They are frustrated, that I am sure of, so please take your time with them and try your best to understand what message they are trying to convey. This is so important, and I can’t stress it enough. This is new to them, too.

What People with Aphasia and Professionals Can Learn From Me

I think professionals need to know what life is REALLY like (if that makes sense). Until you have actually been a caregiver to someone with aphasia, it’s hard to understand how truly difficult it can be.

Aphasia Threads


Emran works in Jordan in applied linguistics..

I did my master’s thesis on aphasic patients.

What I’ve Noticed Along the Way

While people may lose their self-esteem and confidence, they’re still smart and intelligent.

There Are Things That Help

Melodic Intonation Therapy.

And I Encourage New Professionals to Learn About Aphasia

Be patient.

What People with Aphasia and Caregivers Can Learn From Me

To know more about the psychological part of having aphasia. Aphasia awareness must be known more in the Middle East.

Aphasia Threads

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  • Robin Straus
    May 9, 2019 at 11:53 am

    There is an Adler Aphasia Center in Jerusalem, Israel. It is affiliated with Hadassah College and serves both Hebrew and Arab speaking people with aphasia.

  • Brian
    August 28, 2019 at 10:37 am

    It was the opinion of my family that I had a stroke in 2009. I was 50 years old, my wife and I were visiting my son and daughter in law in Victoria, B.C.. I woke up one morning and very quickly realized I was stuttering. I was thinking of a word, but couldn’t oralize it. When we got home to Saskatoon, I called the 800 number to speak to a nurse. After a few minutes of questions, she told me to call an ambulance immediately! (My wife drove me to the hospital) After a battery of tests, including a CAT scan, it was determined that I had NOT suffered a stroke. I went to see my doctor soon after and he diagnosed my issue as Aphasia. Since then, I have good days and not so good days. My condition shows up more when I’m tired or in pain (30 year old undiagnosed back injury). I read your emails and take some if the suggestions to help keep my Aphasia in remission. Keep em coming.

  • Gordon Deal
    August 28, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    How can we read Emran’s research? It’s been taken down. Also, you need to register on the research website. Is there a public link somewhere?

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