29 year old Shivakumar was running a juice shop and supporting his small family when he had a stroke. By the time he was taken to NIMHANS he was paralyzed on the right side and could not utter a single word. He could understand everything spoken to him but could only nod his head or point in response.
He could no longer run his business and everything came crashing down. His family managed to raise money for his treatment and with Physiotherapy he was able to walk and move his hand a little. However, his speech did not improve. He took up small jobs and tried his best to move on with his life. He remained cheerful despite the challenges that he was facing due to his limited communication abilities.
Shivakumar learnt about Samvaad foundation’s free speech therapy program for stroke patients through a TV program. He approached us and his therapy began 6 years after stroke- therapy that should have ideally commenced immediately after his neurological condition stabilized. We began regular and intensive (daily two – hour sessions) therapy and saw steady improvement.
Shivakumar began to use words and gradually learnt to even make sentences. We worked on his writing and calculation too. Our aim was to establish functional communication and this, we achieved after two years and 300 hours of therapy!
Equally importantly Shivakumar got his confidence back.
He wanted our help to buy an autorickshaw so that he could start earning again. He had got his license and we raised funds of Rs 75,000/=. It was a happy day for all of us when he began driving his brand new Auto rickshaw.