A lost love of poetry recovered | Our news

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A lost love of poetry recovered

A picture of Babatunde smiling

Kayla Dahlman, occupational therapist and Shahina Khatunali, rehabilitation support have been working with patient, Babatunde, who suffered from a stroke in June 2023.  Here they share their pride and love for in helping getting patients back on their feet.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Babatunde, alongside his family. One consistent theme emerged from all our therapy sessions: Babatunde’s sheer determination to engage in therapy and progress in the face of significant communication impairment.

Babatunde was first seen for occupational therapy and speech and language therapy in July 2023. Over 7 months, he has worked tirelessly with the constant support of his dedicated daughter Victoria. 

Speech therapy initially targeted single word spoken out, so that Babatunde could build back up his skills needed for day-to-day living. Babatunde worked hard to supplement this with non-verbal communication strategies which enriched and improved his communication with those around him. Throughout his therapeutic journey, Babatunde has also practised handwriting in his own time and rehearsed single word and text comprehension with his family.

Babatunde’s occupational therapy initially focussed on simple tasks such as dressing or shaving. Once he had re-learned these tasks, we started working on his meaningful tasks, which included a trip to the library. On his first trip to the library, he was able to speak a poem which the occupational therapist wrote down.

Before his stroke, Babatunde could speak four languages (including Latin) and has a long-standing love for poetry and literary. These first steps in speech during his trip to the library meant that therapists could support Babatunde in returning to doing what he loves the most - reading and writing.

With support he has started writing verses again and now reads aloud both known  and previously unseen highly complex paragraphs of text. 

Despite his communication difficulties, Babatunde’s charismatic character encapsulates everyone around him. During Babatunde’s trips to the library, and outdoors with his family, he is often met by friends and acquaintances, and he always stops to say “ Hello, how are you?” accompanied by a chivalrous gesture. The love for him in his local community is both palpable and moving. 

As Babatunde navigates his way through his stroke recovery, his confidence is growing, enabling him to have more meaningful interactions with those around him and reclaim some of the ability lost.

Shahina and Babatunde sat in the library together

(pictured left to right, rehabilitation support worker Shahina sitting with Babatunde in the library)

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