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Barbara K

A few months before her daughter’s wedding, Barbara, an active school librarian, had a severe ischemic stroke. She came to Burke unable to walk or talk and was completely paralyzed on the right side of her body. But the mother of three was determined: the wedding wouldn’t be postponed, and she and her husband would walk their daughter down the aisle.

Barbara spent months in therapy, where she regained much of her functioning and relearned basic activities like standing and dressing. As for her speech, Barbara was diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that makes communication difficult. Today she is an aphasia advocate and volunteers helping therapy students. As a board member of the National Aphasia Association, she speaks to organizations and first responders.

And at her daughter’s wedding? Barbara not only walked—she danced.