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Living life with aphasia

Living life with aphasia

With June being aphasia awareness month, we would like to highlight some stories of people with aphasia. The theme is ‘living well with aphasia’ and Matiu Payne, who has had a stroke and has aphasia shared some inspirational thoughts.

What do you think is important for living well with aphasia?

For me, I am now in a new place and it feels better than life used to be. I am happy with life right now and feel excited. I am learning to drive again, to see people again and to do some work again. I have travelled to Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland and Turangi and am planning to travel to London. I now have time to appreciate being with my wife and not be too busy.

What advice do you have for other people?

Be glad to have time in your life and more freedom. It is time to live a new life, one that I never thought I could do. If you keep working hard, you can keep making progress and more things start to happen. My aphasia keeps getting better every day, I started not knowing anything except my name, and now I am having full-on conversations!

What do you wish other people knew about aphasia?

Aphasia is a whole new world. It is frustrating and can make me feel whakama (shame/embarrassment). Sometimes I feel scared to try things in case I fail or make mistakes. I am still an intelligent person but I just need longer to communicate.

What would help you the most?

Give me time to communicate and work together with me.