Still Laughing and Contributing

Ann Semple was a schoolteacher and social butterfly who loved to travel around the globe. She collected beer cans along the way and ultimately collected thousands. Her favorite travel site was the Great Wall of China.
Ann had her stroke January 1, 2001 while with her friend Greg. She was diagnosed with aphasia. Communicating with her many friends was one of her favorite things to do, so her struggle to communicate was a monumental blow. Ann felt so depressed and frustrated. She couldn’t stop thinking “Why me?” Ann lost some friends because they just didn’t know how to handle the “new Ann” which upset her very much. Aside from her communication difficulties, Ann knew she hadn’t changed inside. However, Ann was not just going to sit at home and sulk; she was going start living her life again. Thankfully, there was a new program just getting started.
In 2002, Ann became one of three founding members of the Aphasia Center of West Texas in Midland, Texas. Ann has watched the Aphasia Center grow and evolve through the years. Each week, she keeps coming back because of her friendships with other members and staff. She loves getting to know every new person. She enjoys the conversation groups and getting to speak her mind. The Aphasia Center has helped her learn tools to communicate better both within its adaptive environment and out in the general public. Ann has always cared deeply about people and now enjoys staying connected with her friends via Facebook. 13 years post-stroke, Ann is laughing and contributing to the community.