We at Aphasia Hope Foundation connected with Darryl and Mary Moulder shortly after Darryl, at the young age of 39, had a massive stroke.
Darryl W. Moulder was born in Jackson, Mississippi. He was raised in Greenville, Mississippi (among many places) as the oldest of three sons. He completed high school at Riverside High School and went on to become a paramedic and Training Chief at the Greenville Fire Department. He worked for 22 years at The Greenville Fire Department. The priority in Darryl’s life is and was serving the Lord and being an amazing husband and father. Darryl also enjoys riding his motorcycle with friends, playing the drums, paintball, wakeboarding, and traveling.
We asked Mary and Darryl to write about their experiences in an intensive therapy program. Mary writes:
Our visit to The Aphasia Center in St. Petersburg, FL was much different than we had expected. After months and months of fundraising and brainstorming ways to raise the funds to attend the facility, a date was finally set. We made plans to have intensive speech therapy for four weeks at Steps Forward The Aphasia Center.
The majority of the first two or three days was the beginning evaluation. This is once when Darryl was questioning the process. Although the therapists knew Darryl was unable to complete many of the activities on the assessment, he had to go through each step. Then, therapy really began on Day 4. He received 4 hours of speech therapy a day and an hour lunch with other participants. The people at the facility were all different ages, lived in different places, and were at different stages of recovery; however, they were all affected by Aphasia. Darryl enjoyed being with others that face the same challenges as he encounters each day.
The therapy included all of the different techniques that we were introduced to during therapy at home (Thanks to Renee and Gail). There was just more hours of it during a day for consecutive days and there were a variety of therapists. Each afternoon, one therapist, Darryl, and I would sit down to discuss his “homework” for the evening. While there, I requested that each therapist write down a brief explanation of what each worked on that day so we could continue the therapy at home.
While at The Aphasia Center, Darryl worked with four therapists and Dr. Lori Toblin. He became open to the idea of using other forms of communication (ipad, communication book, picture dictionary) ; however, speech was practiced in conjunction with these every day. He also worked on problem solving ways to get his message across. This was a great way for him to practice. The therapists were friendly and professional. Kathy, the in-take coordinator, is a major asset to the facility because she knows what we are going through having attended the facility with her own husband, Mike. Darryl really enjoyed his time with Mike. Darryl increased his spoken vocabulary and continues to be open to using the other forms of communication.
I wish I could tell others that they knew a secret to “curing” Aphasia; however, we all know it is just a long, hard road to recovery. We each have to take a day at a time praying for the strength to do our best. Darryl and I do see improvements all the time and we will continue to work hard each day.
We would like to thank our friends and family because the trip would not have been possible without their help. We also would like to thank the therapists, staff, and participants at The Aphasia Center for making the process meaningful and showing our family so much kindness. A special thank s to Mrs. Judi Stratinger and Aphasia Hope Foundation for her words of guidance and help. It is always nice to have someone that has gone through what you are facing. Many people ask us if we feel like it was worth it to attend The Aphasia Center, and we answer yes. Darryl gained a lot from the experience.
To read more on Darryl’s background, Cllck here .