Unsung Heroes

Ray Krstic, 63, is recovering from multiple brainstem strokes brought on after he was involved in a car accident 8 months ago, which left him unable to walk or speak.

He is currently being cared for in our rehab unit and is receiving on-going speech pathology treatment.

He has developed a very close and special relationship with his speech pathologists who say he is making a good recovery.

Speech pathologists Kathryn McKinley and Leah Mckenzie get together with Ray for a catch-up.
Speech pathologists Kathryn McKinley and Leah Mckenzie get together with Ray for a catch-up.

As allied health professionals with expertise in the assessment and treatment of communication and swallowing difficulties, their job has been to help him find ways to communicate and to help him eat and drink again.

Ray is grateful for their professionalism and support.  He describes them as unsung heroes.  Ray worked with his wife Pam to write a brief message about the help he has been getting from them.

He writes:

Waking up unable to move anything or speak is very frightening. Not being able to communicate your pain and fear is even more terrifying.

Speech pathologists have been very important to my recovery.

My speech pathologists have kept me alive by overseeing tracheostomy care and monitoring my breathing and swallowing over the last eight months. They have personally allayed my fears, given me hope, provided helpful aides to communication, explained my needs to hospital staff and family and developed my lost skills in therap. 

In addition to this they have  arranged assessments by doctors and technicians, liaised with Yooralla for communication aide assessments, provided exercises for speech and swallowing, carefully overseen the reintroduction of eating thickened fluids whilst all the time explaining progress and needs to myself, family and carers.

I still have a long way to go but I owe a lot of grateful thanks to all my speech pathologists. The ability to communicate is absolutely vital for all aspects of recovery as well as my psychological wellbeing. I’ve gone from only being able to blink for yes and no, to gradually use a spelling-board with my right foot, and just to whisper.

These have been momentous milestones in my recovery, but I think speech pathologists are often unsung heroes.

Profound thanks to all of my therapists.

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