Stroke Survivors Reach Out

by Judith Maginnis Kuster - Minnesota State University, Mankato (

Many personal accounts published by stroke survivors provide unique opportunities for families and professionals to understand some of the experience and frustration involved. An early account was written by Samuel Johnson, a renowned 18th century British author. One morning in 1783, Johnson discovered he could not get out of bed or speak. He later wrote, "I was alarmed, and prayed God, that however he might afflict my body, he would spare my understanding. This prayer, that I might try the integrity of my faculties, I made in Latin verse. The lines were not very good, but I knew them not to be very good."

The Internet can also help locate more recently published first-hand accounts by stroke survivors. Jacqueline Hinckley's list of Personal Narratives about Living with Aphasia suggests over 30 such resources many available from Amazon. Books out of print may be available from Bookfinder. Several books not listed in Hinckley's bibliography are currently marketed on the Internet, including:

The Internet also provides direct opportunity for survivors and their families to reach out.
Kuster, JM, Stroke Survivors Reach Out, The ASHA Leader, February 15, 2000, p. 7