If it wasn’t for curiosity created by his neurologist John Hurst may not be a volunteer with March of Dimes of Canada (MODC) today.
After suffering a stroke in 1999, John’s neurologist said his speech could improve, but John was eager to find out more on how. He continued his journey on the internet, which led him to a speech-language pathologist. He learned from the pathologist about York-Durham Aphasia Centre (YDAC), and began volunteering there in 2002. While most of the volunteers at YDAC are not stroke survivors, John’s stroke experience certainly adds to what he brings to the program. He has also been serving on the Board of Stroke Recovery Canada’s Toronto Central Chapter since 2008.
John considers his aphasia diagnosis less severe than many. He overcame many weaknesses quickly and never required a wheelchair. While feeling fortunate about his recovery, John takes more appreciation seeing his children and supporting fellow stroke survivors.
“Just giving back a little bit is something I can do and help people,” said John.
While John knows from experience it’s impossible to make a complete stroke recovery he is optimistic about the progress that survivors can make.
“It’s not the end of the world (and) there is life after a stroke for sure.”
He believes people need to be more educated about stroke survivors because some assume they can no longer speak. “(Stroke survivors are) never going to be 100 per cent but (they) will improve (their speech) and the improvement is what I like to see in people.”
By: Brendan Hair