Living with Stroke and Aphasia in the Real World: Nancy Mamis-King's Story

Mar 18, 2016 | by Lingraphica
Living with aphasia in a society where most people are unaware of the condition can be extremely intimidating.
In this YouTube clip, Nancy Mamis-King tells her story of a normal life made difficult by a stroke and aphasia— leaving her unable to speak more than three words.

Mamis-King spoke recently before a group of health care students at Kean University.

One of the most disturbing moments Mamis-King retells is the time she asked a police officer for help. Unfamiliar with aphasia and its symptoms, the officer assumed she was drunk because of the way she spoke. Nancy is not alone in this experience. Because most people aren’t aware that aphasia affects about 1 in 275 people (more than Parkinson’s disease, autism, and multiple sclerosis), many more people like Nancy have had similar experiences.

Although the officer in Nancy’s case was unaware of aphasia, more is being done to educate police officers on how to identify people living with aphasia and how to give them the attention and care they require. A December 2004 article in Police Chief Magazine, attempts to educate officers about the basics of the condition and included tips for identifying and helping people living with aphasia.

Nancy adamantly believes there is need for more aphasia education for first-responders and medical professionals. By sharing her story, she hopes to inspire others to never give up while encouraging people to learn more about the condition.

Fortunately, Lingraphica offers numerous communication devices and aphasia apps to help people like Nancy live with stroke and aphasia.

 Learn about aphasia in our FREE eBook.

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 Nancy Mamis-King is a member of the Lingraphica User Group, a group of people with aphasia that meets at our headquarters in Princeton twice a month to share stories, practice on their devices, and offer feedback on the future devices and apps we are developing.