GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Wood) – A retired pastor is recovering in Grand Rapids aphasiasame condition famous actor Bruce Willis He was diagnosed last week.
“Fortunately, between the Lord and my family, Mary Frey’s bed, we make it,” said Glenn Tell. “They saved my mind.”
Thiel underwent surgery earlier this year after suffering a brain haemorrhage in December. After the surgery, he explained that he was unable to tell time and could barely read.
“It was a very painful and scary period. A member of the surgery team could see that I was suffering and looked at me and said ‘We’ll take you to the Mary Free Bed because they can help you,'” he said.
Till was later diagnosed with Broca’s aphasia, or mild expressive aphasia.
People with this particular type of aphasia can understand what people are saying but aren’t able to clearly present ideas or speak, says Claire Antvilink, a speech-language pathologist at the Mary Free Bed. Words are hard to get out and people tend to omit words.
“The hardest word is go. His wife, Nancy Till, said he could say four syllables but couldn’t pronounce go.” “Really short words don’t give you many clues, so sometimes the more difficult words, especially the letters which have complex or unique formations such as the “g” with the closed loop at the bottom.”
Glenn Tell spent nine days in the Mary Free Bed and has since been on an outpatient basis twice a week. He also practices at home by reading Dr. Seuss books, reviewing vocabulary and reading his Bible.
The aphasia has been hard to come to terms with, but he deals with it the best way he knows how.
“Aphasia is scary because you feel out of control. You can see and understand, but you can’t fully communicate.” “In order not to panic and to feel inner peace and calm, my belief in the Lord has been a huge part for me.”
According to therapists, aphasia is caused by brain damage, which can occur if a person suffers a stroke or injury to the brain. It can also come gradually from a slow growing brain tumor or disease that causes gradual and permanent damage.
Antvelink has seen patients diagnosed with aphasia after being exposed to COVID-19, even though it affects everyone differently.
“We can have someone who has a lot of difficulty getting a word out or we can have someone at a higher level who is having a hard time with conversation,” she said. “This is changing people’s lives. It is also changing families’ lives.”
Barb Stirk recovering from a stroke on the left side of her brain. She was going to the Mary Free Bed for treatment. She also faced similar difficulties as Glenn Tell, who was diagnosed with Broca’s aphasia.
“It’s very difficult, it’s hard to talk and it’s very frustrating,” she said. “I can’t think of words.”
Her therapist works with her reading skills and believes Sterk has made significant progress.
Aphasia is not a fatal condition. Speech therapy is the most common treatment, although there are a number of factors that determine how long a person may have this condition.
“It depends on the level of severity initially and depends on the injury the individual has, so there are a lot of different factors that go into the diagnosis and recovery time,” Antvillink said.
According to the Mayor Clinic, if you have the following symptoms, you should see a doctor:
- Speak in short or incomplete sentences
- Speak in meaningless sentences
- Replace one word with another or one sound with another
- Speak in unrecognizable words
- I don’t understand other people’s conversations
- Write meaningless sentences