Cong Nguyen

Montreal, Quebec


I am writing with my Dynavox, a computer aid.

I had a stroke in January 2006 and I have severe aphasia.  I had speech therapy at Marie Clarac Rehab Centre. My taxi driver drove me every day.

That day, in 2007, while he was driving, he told me he had pain in the chest and a numbness in his arm. I can recognize the symptoms of a heart attack. He didn’t!  I could not communicate information to him.  FAST! TO THE HOSPITAL!!!  In half an hour, hopefully there won’t be a traffic jam.

Unfortunately, I could not drive the taxi and I could not even call 9-1-1 because of my aphasia. An accident happens so fast and my hands were tied.

Luckily, we got to the hospital safely. He parked his car at the entry door. I looked for a wheelchair and pushed him to the hospital’s admission. Admission refused us because it was a rehab center and not a hospital. A doctor walked by, I grabbed her and gestured to her:

"Is there anybody who can help?"

She knew me. She saw the man pale and sweating  in the wheelchair.  She understood the emergency and said: "COME!"

I pushed the wheelchair into a room, nurses and doctors took care of him. I waited in the corridor. I saw that they pushed him towards an electrocardiogram.

Diagnosis: heart attack! His artery was severely blocked. We called an ambulance, I went with him to  Fleury hospital.  I had been in an ambulance when I had my stroke. This time, I wasn’t the patient. Witness to the family who came to see the patient. Quite impressive!

At the hospital, they did everything to save his life. He was released three days later and got back to work after 10 days, no problem!  That‘s technology for you!

Starting on  that day, we became friends! A guy with a stroke saving a guy who has a heart attack! That’s a good one!  Morality: in the country of blind men, one-eyed men  are kings!

As for me, I now pursue my speech treatment and rehab activities at Association quebecoise des personnes aphasiques. I speak better, I learn to be a  better communicator, thanks to speech pathologists and other therapists. Thanks to the personnel!

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