A LOSS OF LANGUAGE
Speech therapy is an expensive but necessary part of recovery for survivors with aphasia. With this scholarship, we aim to lessen that financial burden so families can better focus on intensive therapy.
In January 2008, Derrick Wong suffered a severe stroke on the left side of his brain. He woke up with semi-paralysis on his right side and with severe aphasia. As a sales trainer and avid tennis player, Derrick was determined to regain his expert communication skills and mobility.
Over the next eight and a half years, Derrick participated in intensive speech and physical therapy programs around the world, working to recover what he had lost. His wife, Suzanne, learned everything she could about stroke recovery, reading books and articles and researching programs to find the best treatment possible for Derrick. Unfortunately, she discovered a lack of intensive speech programs in the United States, in North America, and around the world.
Derrick went from teaching communication and presentations skills for a living to barely saying more than "yes" or "no" after his stroke to speaking in front of 200+ people at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association conference in 2014.
In August 2016, Derrick passed away from auto-immune complications. Although he's no longer with us, his spirit will live on through this project.