Episode 136 is Avi Golden. Avi was a Paramedic and his plan was to attend medical school. In early June 2007, at 33 years of age, Avi was admitted to Columbia Hospital, in New York, for surgery for a mitral valve prolapse repair that was discovered near the aortic valve in his heart. Like many people who go to the hospital for serious, but seemingly routine, surgery, Avi thought he’d be out and recovering in short order. However, that was not to be. During the surgery, Avi experienced a stroke on the left side of his brain, leaving him with right-sided paralysis, and profound aphasia, which proceeded to wreak havoc with his life. Did this stop Avi? Avi tells his story about his stroke and the effects of suffering from Expressive Aphasia. Avi still has balance problems and weakness on the right side of his body, but it’s his Expressive Aphasia that frustrates and confounds him more than any of his other post-stroke residuals. Avi can understand what people are saying to him and he can still read quite well. However, he continues to have a lot of trouble speaking and writing. This can be devastating for any friendly and outgoing person. Avi refuses to let aphasia get in his way. Avi is an EMT and more importantly, he’s embarked on a new mission of “aphasia advocacy,” educating others about aphasia and how it impacts a stroke survivor’s day-to-day life.To make this new goal a reality, Avi has been involved in a lot of aphasia-related projects. Like the myriad of activities in his pre-stroke life, he’s done so many things since his stroke like snowboarding, skiing, and scuba diving to name a few. Avi is joined by Katlin Brooks, who is a Speech Pathologist and Professor at Mercy College. Katlin works with Avi and she tells how they met and explains the art of speech pathology.

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