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View Diary: Gabrielle Giffords, and the horror of aphasia (92 comments)

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  •  One of my most joyous (6+ / 0-)

    communication experiences came with a brilliant man from Haiti, who spoke 6 languages with complete fluency;  French, English, German, Spanish, Indonesian and some other one I can't remember.  We shared 3 of those languages in common, and talking with him was a joyous mish mashed freedom of multiple languages.  It was a treasure to say whatever was the 'best' word for an idea without having to explain it.  

    After some unusual incidences during one of his summers in Indonesia, he went for a check up and was diagnosed with ALS.  Of all the cruel ironies, he had the bulbar onset version, which accounts for about 25% of cases.  The type that affects speech before the extremities.  That cursed disease rendered this extraordinary gentlemen unable to speak in less than 6 months.

    It's been years already since he died, but I will never forget how beautiful it was to communicate with him.  

    The ability to speak is a blessing.

    Requiescat in pace Leonard.

    Kathleen Sebelius 2016

    by pvlb on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:12:34 PM PST

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