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Meet people living with aphasia

Carole Rickards

My name is Carole Rickards. I live in Corringham, near Basildon. I used to work as a dental hygienist and for ten years I lived in Australia.

I had a stroke in 1987, which led to aphasia. For two years I had no speech at all. I had to learn to write with my left hand. My friends were very supportive – I don't think I could have managed without them.

In January 1988, I started having speech therapy at City University. I had group therapy on three days a week, with therapists and students.

In 1990 I travelled to Australia on my own for six weeks. I travelled all around Australia: Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, staying with friends.

Now every Tuesday, I attend Connect. Although I have walking difficulties, I travel by train from Basildon to Fenchurch Street and get a cab from there. I am the leader of a conversation group of up to twenty people. Each week we discuss a different topic. Everyone contributes according to their ability. The group helps to improve speech and self confidence for its members.

I have been married to Malcolm since 2000. We are both retired, but like to keep busy. I have always enjoyed handicrafts and now I have a knitting machine and a one-handed embroidery frame. I also like to travel. I recently visited Ukraine and I go back to Australia about every other year.

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