week 19: this week i'm gonna... help stroke survivors regain their speech
At the age of 41, native Austinite Cheryle Locke was living in Fort Worth with her three children; she was happy and healthy and peaking in her career as the CEO of an Internet marketing company.
That summer, in July 2006, Cheryle suffered three massive strokes that left her unable to speak, write, or drive.
Her whole life turned upside down, Cheryle found herself depressed and hopeless, frustrated that she was unable to communicate. Her inability to speak isolated her from the world around her, and she suffered in silence for six years, relying only on body language to be understood.
In 2011, Cheryle's parents heard about Austin Speech Labs (ASL) and their unique intensive speech therapy for stroke survivors. They encouraged her to sign-up for services, and despite the fact that Cheryle had resolved herself that she would never regain her speech, she decided to give it a shot.
Cheryle and her children moved to Austin, where she began visiting ASL five days a week from 1pm to 4pm. She received intensive speech, language, and cognitive therapy. At the end of each week, she was exhausted - but she was slowly beginning to see progress! Now, five years later, Cheryle remains a client of ASL and has regained most of her speech. She speaks at conferences around Austin to spread stroke awareness, and was also invited to sit on the Governor's Council for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke.
See Cheryle's message below regarding her experience with Austin Speech Labs.
Austin Speech Labs was founded in 2008 when two speech therapists saw a gap between services covered by medical insurance and what stroke survivors truly need to return to their social and professional lives. Austin Speech Labs strives to provide the intensive and individualized speech therapy required for optimum recovery, as well as a supportive environment for clients to recover their communication skills after suffering stroke.
Learn more about Austin Speech Labs in the video below.
Cheryle is extremely grateful for the care she was given at Austin Speech Labs and is now paying it forward and helping others. She is currently training to become a certified chair yoga instructor for people with disabilities, and has traveled abroad to help children with disabilities. Also, Cheryle's daughter, Adrienne, has joined the staff of Austin Speech Labs and helps to continue their important work.
Notes for this week:
- May is National Better Hearing and Speech Month & National Stroke Awareness Month.
- Our collective givetwig donation will fund approximately 55 hours of speech and music therapy for four weeks for two stroke survivors.
- For further information regarding Austin Speech Labs, please check out their website.
this week i'm gonna donate to Austin Speech Labs.