TODAY show

Aphasia on the TODAY Show

Aphasia was recently the topic of discussion on the TODAY show when Maria Shriver spoke with Lauren Marks, author of the current selection for the NAA’s online book club, A Stitch of Time.

Speaking About Aphasia on the TODAY Show

Lauren describes aphasia as the sensation of being “locked out of your own house.” You’re still yourself, but you can’t access yourself anymore. She talks with Shriver about how life changed after her aneurysm. Even a decade later, she still has lingering affects of aphasia and shows off one of her text-to-speech work-arounds.

Learn more about Lauren Marks’s story by watching the clip below. And join us soon for our next installment discussing her book.

Comments

9 Comments

  • Julia Hewitt
    October 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm

    Wow. It’s inspiring to hear what she has pushed through and know what she has done/gone through and a decade down the track how she is managing her aphasia.
    I too, have a few forms of aphasia from a workplace accident in 2011.
    Having the information and support through the aphasia group here & the global brain injury group has helped tremendously. I have ok days. Today not so. But thank you so much Lauren Marks for sharing your story. I know there are others that are worse off than myself, and some days I have the “I hate who I am now” feeling. You have perked me up knowing the great achievement you have made and that I can also. Thank you for your inspiration.

  • Estelle Sandler
    October 5, 2017 at 10:43 am

    i live with a stroke survivor who has aphasia, apraxia, and is partially paralyzed. before her stroke she climbed mt. rainier, mt. washington, the grand tetons and biked down the oregon coast, into zion , the grand canyon and participated in many biathlons. she was an amazing athlete at 115 pounds. after the stroke she could not speak for almost 2 years and had to learn to walk again. in the sixth year she laughed for the first time and started to become curious again. she still struggles to express herself. she has replaced a bike with a trike and has biked in the tour d’ palm springs for the past 2 years completing 25 miles each time. she gets better all the time. she is a warrior.

  • Nancy Scarrow
    October 5, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Thank you so much for your interview and story on Lauren Marks. I am so glad that some awareness to Aphasia is staring to happen. So many people have it, yet before it happened to us, we had never heard of it. I am definitely going to buy her book to read. My daughter, Megan, had a seizure last year at 22 years old while on vacation in Cuba. After a CT scan and MRI, we discovered that she had a brain tumor. Thankfully it was non-cancerous and as far as brain tumors go, we were told it was the “best-case scenerio”. It was very slow-growing and she had probably had it for most of her life. We were told it would be a very low risk surgery to remove, a day or two in the hospital, a couple of weeks at home recovering, and then back to normal life. My daughter was just finishing up her third year of her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, so as soon as she wrote her last exam, her surgery was scheduled. But our worst nightmares came true during her surgery. The tumor had been mis-diagnosed and was actually much more invasive than originally anticipated. In that moment, the surgeon made the decision to try to remove the whole tumor, even though it was very risky as the hard, fibrous tentacles were entwined within the brain, particularly in the areas of the brain that deal with speech and fine motor skills. And then something even worse happened – she had a stroke on the operating table. Needless to say, this was the worst time of our lives. She remained in the hospital for two weeks, and then was moved to a live-in rehabilitation facility for another two months. We had to commute four-hours per day to be with her, which we did every day. She couldn’t walk, she was unable to use the right side of her body, and she could barely talk. Little by little she improved but it has now been almost 18 months since that horrible day and life is still really hard for her. She hasn’t been able to go back to school to finish her degree because reading and writing is still so hard for her. She doesn’t work. She goes to out-patient therapy every day. She walks quite well now but still struggles with her right arm and hand. The writing she can do, she has had to learn to do left-handed. Her speech has improved dramatically, but she does still struggle to find the right words sometimes. Her eyesight was also affected by the surgery – she has lost the sight on the right side of both eyes. So even though she has adapted, and really doesn’t see much difference in her vision, her field of vision tests are not good enough for her to legally drive. That has been one of the hardest things for her. She loved her car, and road trips, and just having the freedom to go where she wanted, when she wanted. She hates relying on family or friends to take her places. She had planned an across-the-US road trip that is now only a dream. The social part (or lack thereof) is so hard. For a gorgeous, smart, vibrant young lady with a very active social life, the changes that something like this do can be devastating. So many people fall into a deep depression. We have been blessed that although this has not been easy, Megan’s personality is one of resilience and determination. Sure, she still has some low moments, but that’s all they are – moments. And then she picks herself up and moves forward. So we plug along, day by day, trying to stay positive and motivated. We have good days and bad. But seeing stories like this on TV absolutely helps us. Seeing others suffering from similar situations and seeing how far they have come, definitely gives us hope that she will continue to improve for a long time. Our prayer is that one day she can finish that Nursing degree and work as a nurse like she had always dreamed of. And even though she would be the best nurse ever, as she is so kind-hearted and caring, being a nurse doesn’t define the person that she is. She can be anything she wants to be. She is a simple girl, requiring very little to make her happy. Her family, hopefully a wonderful, patient, understanding, supportive boyfriend and husband someday, a campfire and a fishing rod on a lake, boating, a truck, Disneyland, and her life-long dream of visiting Ireland. That’s all, and after seeing this story and knowing the fight that others have gone through, I’m confident that she’ll have all these things. She is strong and determined and will keep fighting for as long as it takes.

  • Leonard Lanivich
    October 5, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    I am very interested about the software of text to speech that Lauren Marks uses. I have a very dear friend who shares the same problem. Please tell me the name of the software and where I can get it. If possible, what company makes it. Thank You!

  • Jaylee Chang
    October 6, 2017 at 5:05 pm

    I know the feeling of living with aphasia. I feel alone, scared, and hidden from the world because I can’t communicate to people, so I try to avoid being around others and when I do I say less as possible. But I always lose my words,do frustrating. . Mine was caused by hematoma

  • MM
    October 6, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    It is sooooo gooooood that someone who is experiencing APHASIA can talk about APHASIA. Thank YOU, Lauren and NAA!

  • Cadee
    October 7, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    My husband is 75 years old and has had aphasia for the past 15 years. During the first two years he had speech therapy and that helped somewhat. However, now it is harder and harder to understand the words being said. I know how deeply this affects him. He keeps saying “he” knows what he wants to say, “he” knows the words inside his head, but he can’t say the words so that I can understand him. It is extremely frustrating for him. It is also very difficult for me as his wife to have to sit and figure out what he is attempting to say to me. I am exhausted at the end of each day. In many ways we are lucky. The stroke did not leave him completely paralized and he is able to walk and move normally, however having aphasia is a challenge of its own to deal with. It is important that you remain patient with them and allow them to feel that they are contributing something each day. As frustrating as it is to you, realize how much more frustrating it is for them.

  • Patricia Haynes
    October 17, 2017 at 10:27 am

    I sometimes sound if I am drunk, I don’t even drink, why does this come and go,. Loosing my confidence

  • Karen
    October 25, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Thank you all for sharing. It makes me realise how much more would have been available to my father if he was still alive. Seems like there is so much more available in the United States of America than the United Kingdom. It gives me hope to future survivors .

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