Musical Inspiration From Stroke Survivors

I came across a really inspirational articles that I thought I would share with you. It is a story of 4 stroke survivors who have made a music group. Initially they started to help with their own recovery but they were having so much fun they thought they would bring it to a wider audience.

Now they are an inspiration to many people who are battling illness

Joe Webb flipped over his ukulele and beamed when he showed off the message he has affixed to the back: “You Can Do It.”

“We’re telling people you can get better,” said Webb, 67, an Orangevale retiree who suffered a stroke six years ago.

“The music is only half of it. The thing with the group is to tell people we’re getting better. You don’t just have to sit and watch TV and die.”

These people call themselves the Survivors, and they create music with each other. Within the Sacramento suburbs, Webb, Sue Steindrager, 62, plus Zeke Lewis, 82, all have recovered from strokes, and Lewis’ wife, Dee, 77, made it through breast cancer.

Now they’re setting an illustration of this positive outlook for some individuals struggling with the devastation of health issues, especially brain disease: how to make it through and get on with life.

Stroke, the country’s leading reason for long-term impairment, affects 795,000 individuals each year in america. Three-quarters of them are sixty five and older, based on the federal Centers for Disease Control.

Recovery is usually slow as well as difficult – plus discouraging.

20 years following her stroke, Steindrager still struggles somewhat with aphasia, or putting her thought processes into words. Zeke Lewis, a retired machinist who lives in North Sacramento, still has trouble keeping his emotions under control after his 2009 stroke.

The quartet met at the Sutter Neuroscience Institute support group for stroke patients as well as their caregivers.

Webb had been an amateur musician who turned to the ukulele when playing the banjo again turned out too difficult. Zeke Lewis was raised enjoying the trombone, sousaphone, banjo and mandolin. Now he is able to only handle the harmonica. But that’s OK, since his wife has utilized the autoharp to fill in the space.

And Steindrager started trying to play the ukulele soon after she saw how much it helped Webb recover his hand co-ordination – and how much fun he had by using it.

The team has played at stroke support group luncheons plus a 60th wedding anniversary party for a stroke survivor.

Experts have long known music can play a role in stroke patients’ recovery. The parts of the brain managing speech and music are different, so not being able to talk does not keep individuals from participating.

What a great story! You can read the whole article here: Music helps stroke survivors.