Pat's Story

Severe expressive aphasia

Following surgery for a brain tumor, Pat Cooper came to the Day Neuro Program at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation - Fort Worth. As a retired math teacher who enjoys playing with her grandkids, traveling, working out and journaling, she needed to regain her physical and cognitive skills and overcome severe expressive aphasia, a communication disorder that makes it difficult to speak fluently.

Pat participated in the Day Neuro program’s daily physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions and quickly showed progress toward her goals: regaining her ability to take five-mile walks, write letters and speak fluently.

Initially, Pat spoke and wrote in a staccato-like format, using single words. When she read, she could only manage short sentences. Pat devoted herself to her therapy sessions, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. Her hard work paid off and she was able to discharge within seven weeks; she was able to walk about three miles a day, write simple sentences and carry on short conversations with family and friends. Pat returned to daily Bible studies with her husband and could even lead their prayers.

Pat transitioned to an outpatient setting for further speech therapy to refine her conversational skills. She also worked to address community challenges, such as texting, engaging in social outings, writing at the paragraph level and using social media. Summing up her recovery, Pat said, “I have become more confident, my words are back!”

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