On June 9, 2009, Carol M. Maloney, a veteran teacher, experienced a transient ischemic attack in the left hemisphere of her brain. She helplessly observed her mind deteriorate to the point where she could not speak, walk, read, identify household objects, or recall her family. Maloney traveled between the worlds of the surreal and the logical. The stroke resulted in aphasia, the loss of communication and other functions of her left hemisphere.
After eighteen months of rehabilitation, she was finally able to communicate with others by using her hand as a metronome. The frustration of having the words and sentences formed in her mind but being unable to share them caused frustration and depression. Her verbal abilities suffered, along with her reading and comprehension skills. Even so, hard work, strong will, and persistence has allowed her to reach out to other teachers to offer new insight into the minds of her beloved special-education and reading-disabled students.
In this, her story, Maloney turns her experience into a unique opportunity to gain an understanding of her students’ difficulties and to share that knowledge with other teachers.
“Ms. Carol Maloney has written a compelling story that chronicles her amazing life before, during, and after her devastating stroke. She writes with frankness that touches one’s heart. Her story will lend encouragement to those who have suffered a stroke as well as offer strategies to those who have a loved one recovering from one. Carol Maloney developed aphasia after her stroke. I am happy to say that she has survived and conquered both the devastation of her stroke and her aphasia. I know this first hand: she conducts amazing PowerPoint presentations to my graduate class at Rivier University each semester. She is an inspiration to all who want to improve themselves. In this book, Carol clearly describes the strategies that she used to help her become the functioning writer and speaker that she is today.”
J. Diane Connell, Ed.D.
Carol M. Maloney is a Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History alumni and attended Columbia University in New York, in 2003. She has a Master’s degree in education and a Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in adolescent literacy and learning. She currently lives in Massachusetts.