Kate’s Back and She’s Getting Better June 8, 2011

Kate’s Back and She’s Getting Better

Last year, Kate Holden of Cuddly Atheism had a stroke. That’s a scary thing to happen to anyone, but perhaps even more so for Kate because she’s only 30.


She just updated her blog with a message indicating she’s back and she’s on the road to recovery — there are some stumbling blocks, of course, but overall, she’s doing better:

I was kicked out of speech therapy for speaking too well. But then I fell a few pegs and now I don’t speak so well. Most of the time people can’t understand me. So this Fall Semester I’m devoting my time to aggressive speech therapy again because I only have until November to regain my speech ability. Yes, you have a year to recover and after that you’re stuck (see Broca’s aphasia).

I can only imagine what Kate’s going through, but no doubt it helps to be surrounded by positive support. Who needs prayers when you have so many people who care about you by your side?

Get back to normal soon, Kate!

***Update***: If you’d like to make a donation to Kate, feel free to send anything you can via PayPal to voodoogod@hotmail.com. The email address has been verified with her.

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  • beckster

    Good luck on your continued recovery.

  • crystalspin


    The “one-year recovery” is old-old-old, non-science, and wrong.

    In 1982, I fell 50 feet and landed on my shoulder, slamming the back of my head into the rocky ground, and my brain tried to exit my skull out the other side (contre-coup). Big blood clot and craniotomy later, I had classic Broca’s aphasia and was learning to talk again.

    Somewhere I had picked up the one-year rule and stated it to my speech therapist. Even then, she was alarmed and told me forcefully that it wasn’t so. The more she protested, the surer I was that it was so, that she was just breaking it to me easy.

    Like you, I was unshaken by the deadline and convinced to just try as hard as possible on therapy. Six months after my CHI, I went back to college, because (I THOUGHT) therapy wasn’t difficult enough!

    The year anniversary came and went and I plugged along, dealing with speech impairment and short-term memory loss (common with Broca’s aphasia). One day studying with classmates — suddenly I remembered something “in the old way”, not through memory-tricks, but POP, the words off the page spieling back in my brain!

    Three years later, I finished what should have been two years of schooling and got a job in industry, where I worked for ten years. People later told me that when I came to work there, they were aware of my impediment, but it ‘faded’ over time.

    I know my short-term memory continued to improve well into my employment years. Some of it, I know, had to do with ever improving compensatory mechanisms, but that doesn’t really matter, it still improved!

    Meanwhile, I recently spent some time working with an adult aphasia group, mostly stroke survivors. Story after story attests to improvement way past the year “deadline”. Most of the participants never find and join the group until several years past incident.

    Finally, you really must read “My Stroke Of Insight”. Written by a speech pathologist (or maybe neurologist) who suffered a stroke, she documented many sorts of improvement over EIGHT YEARS. The last thing she “got back” was the ability to do math in her head!

    Additionally, there is a DVD, “The Brain Fitness Program”, a Public TV documentary, from http://www.santafeproductions.com — I got my [new] copy from eBay. Some of the things in the program are new proofs via functional MRI and other live-tissue imaging methods, that show that the AGE OLD belief that neurons do not regenerate is false! and techniques to encourage it to do so, and other ways to make use of neuroplasticity.

    I will go to your blog and paste this note there too, in case you are not reading Hemant’s comments.

  • Surgoshan

    Kate, if you want me to, I will sit by your bed and mock you mercilessly until you respond in kind. I wish you all the best.

  • Humanists Harbor

    Hi all. Kate and her husband Jay are having some financial difficulties at the moment due to mounting medical bills, etc. If anyone would care to make a donation through paypal, you can do so via voodoogod (at) hotmail.com

    If we raise enough money, Kate promises to shave her beard!

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