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Sat, Dec. 07

Support group gives Prescott resident a place to talk

Stroke survivor Gerry Kemp, second from left, with support group experts, from left, Marianne Simpson, Gayla Allen and Mara Protas. (Courtesy)

Stroke survivor Gerry Kemp, second from left, with support group experts, from left, Marianne Simpson, Gayla Allen and Mara Protas. (Courtesy)

Prescott resident Gerry Kemp had been a carpenter for 40 years when he suffered a severe stroke at age 54. The stroke left him paralyzed in his right arm and leg and unable to speak.

He was treated at three different hospitals for aphasia (difficulty speaking or understanding speech) and could not write or comprehend what he read. After a year in hospital care, Gerry was discharged to a nursing home, where he worked hard on his speech and movement.

Eight long years later, with the help of a friend, he was able to move to an independent apartment and obtain an electric three-wheeled scooter to help him get around.

Now, People Who Care volunteers take him shopping and to doctor appointments. He rides his scooter to his PWC Stroke Support Group meetings twice a month.

Gerry said the support group gives him a place to talk, to help improve his speaking. More importantly, getting to know other people who have had strokes has helped him understand his own stroke better.

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