Aphasia is a "silent" life changing effect of stroke or brain trauma!
On April 8, 1989 I had a “Stroke of Luck”
On April 8, 1989 I had a life changing experience “A STROKE of Luck”. It’s been a very long road traveled to get to the place that I am humbly today. My right side is weak, but it’s me! My arm sometimes does not go straight but it’s me. Sometimes I trip over nothing and sometimes I look like I am limping. But, it’s me!
Over the past 23 years I have developed and grown to see my purpose. One of the parable that I sometimes use to describe what it feels, is that I was wrapped up in a cocoon. Today I have shed those silk layers and devolved into a butterfly that has the freedom to soar.
I call it a “Stroke of Luck”, because I was lifted out of my body and had the honor of being in the presence of God when “HE SPOKE TO ME”. I always knew of God but never had a personal relationship with HIM/HER. God had bigger plans for me then I saw within myself. When stricken, we must fight through the challenges and determine how we are going to change directions on our individual journey’s. While I was in ICU for my dad, I saw a plaque that said....“Life is about how you handle Plan B”. This was plan B. But, plan B was a whole new beginning for me...it was not chosen but was a gift from God. I am living proof that there is light on the other side of darkness, when we hold on to our FAITH and have TRUST.
It has been a long and sometimes trying road. I was in a semi coma for one week. I know that God had me sleep to implant all of HIS/HER visions, to rest because I had work to do. After I awoke, I couldn’t get up to walk, was semi paralyzed on my right side and couldn’t speak. I had to learn everything from scratch. But, there was a new flame in me, God, and nothing and no one could stop me. I felt God in my heart and soul, as well as an inner knowing of I was going to regain my life.
Just recently, I began to discover that I am 85% of the way back. However, like my arm and like my off balance, I have the lingering effects on my brain. I have been dealing with the challenge of Aphasia. I have learned that Aphasia is a condition characterized by either partial or total loss of the ability to communicate verbally or using written words. Due to brain trauma, injury or stroke, a person we have difficulty speaking, reading, writing, recognizing names of objects or understanding what people have said. However, the name Aphasia was never used to describe the condition.
I have had the honor and grace to recover my speaking and singing voice. I am blessed to be able to travel, perform and share my story. Bring hope to those who are enduring this life changing challenge. I am living proof that there is HOPE.
I am humbled to be a member of The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s) since 2007, the Latin Recording Academy and ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and Sing For Hope. Sing for Hope is a Foundation that recruits Artist from around the globe to go to hospitals and to use music as the universal language.
On my travels I was guided to perform at Maywood Adler’s Aphasia Center, Maywood NJ. It was surreal and a blessing to have this opportunity, to visit this astounding center. It reflected those intimate memories of how I felt to be in that lost lonely space, when I couldn’t communicate. Those feelings are etched in my heart. Simple words TH...E B...OY R..A..N (the boy ran) were a struggle. I looked at a book, while I was in rehabilitation, and couldn’t read what I saw. Then the therapist would say.... THE ....BOY.....RAN. I remember now, trying to mimic her words. It was a deep dark place to be. The frustration was consuming and I would go future into my cocoon. But God had a purpose for me, to support and be the Voice for my Aphasia family. He knew that I never steered away from a challenge. Over the past 23 years, many human Angels have crossed my path. Teaching me Life lesson and preparing me for today. One of my GOD Jobs is to Executive Produce, “The Language of Love” Aphasia Telethon. On Oct 16th, 2011 at the Grand Chalet in Wayne NJ, we produced our first Fundraiser for our Telethon. Our Fundraiser was not only about gaining financial support for our project, but about bring Education and Awareness through music. Music is the universal language of Love. Love, Compassion and Understanding play a key role in healing. I was blessed to have these key components as was on the road to recovery. For this purpose I found Maywood Adler’s Aphasia Center to capture my heart. When you walk thru those doors you feel the LOVE and all our defenses are left on the front stoop. The members get to heal at their own pace surrounded by caring adopted family members. So, we forge ahead with a mission to establish a Telethon. One that will support financially and compassionately those loving - caring homes like Maywood’s Aphisia Center. Their main concern should be with our healing family members.
I am so grateful for this opportunity to share my story. I pray that it will bring hope and light into our new family members. Also, That Plan B may not be how you saw your life, it may be challenging and difficult but stay open to the possibilities. With our trust in God all thing are possible.