My name is Sam.

I was stationed in Japan when I had my stroke.

I had a massive headache that lasted for five days.

I was confused with loss of balance.


My wife was in Ghana and took a flight to the United States so we could meet in Washington.

I was transferred by medevac to Washington, D.C.

I don’t really remember most of the journey.

I met my wife at the airport and we went to Walter Reed in Bethesda, Maryland.

I received a full, complete assessment at Walter Reed.

I met a lot of doctors and therapists.

They told me that I had aphasia.

In Japan, I was having troubles with my words and with related words like left and right.  I would say words but mean something else.

I knew the alphabet and was able to count but I didn’t know letters or numbers themselves.

I started speech and occupational therapies for about a month .

After a month, I had a second stroke.

After about another week, I had a third stroke.

Doctors were not able to find any reasons for any of my strokes.

My aphasia got worse.  When I talked to my wife, it was gibberish.  She said it sounded like “blah-blah-blah”.

They discovered that I had a heart attack that I don’t remember.


I am now aware of my history, and can share my story.

Now I can write the alphabet and numbers.  I can make sentences by writing and speaking.  I don’t repeat myself.

I am still recovering.  I want to be able to write a whole page and spell correctly.

I don’t want to have to be reminded to do things I have to do.  I want to improve my memory and understanding.  I want to read the whole encyclopedia!

I have had to adjust.  I continue to work living my new normal.


Samuel Aryeh