This section contains some useful information on strokes. It is arranged first with a focus on relevant information, followed by information regarding my personal experience.
- As a multilingual, I found particularly helpful the papers collected in the book Aspects of Multilingual Aphasia, edited by Martin R. Gittermann et al. (2012).
- You might find the pamphlet ‘fascination brain’, including a contribution on multilingualism on pp. 15-16, published by the Ligue Suisse pour le Cerveau, Schweizerische Hirnliga, Lega Svizerra per il Cervello very helpful.
- Also very helpful were the websites of Aphasie Suisse and, more general on strokes, of Fragile Suisse (including the media coverage of both organizations).
- The Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) brings together stroke survivors, rehabilitation and medical specialists. Its aim is to prevent stroke-related deaths and disability throughout Europe, by raising awareness both among the general public and the medical community.
- The purpose of Aphasia Nation, a U.S.-based website, is to educate the wider public about aphasia. Beyond aphasia awareness, it aims to inform the public about neuroplasticity and ways of relearning one’s language skills after a stroke.
- For items related to strokes and the English language, see also the website of the Royal College for Speech and Language Therapists.
- For a few impressive and powerful accounts on what a stroke does, watch the videos of Sarah Scott on her Broca’s aphasia after her stroke as a teenager (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aplTvEQ6ew) and Prof. Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight (www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html).
- Illuminating is also the book by Barbara Lukesch who asks ‘Who are we Without Language? The Aphasia Experiment’: ten people from vastly different backgrounds share their experience during one day of self-imposed silence. Their experience gives outsiders an inkling of what aphasia is and the impact of such a disorder on aphasic people.
- In this CUP paper, published in English Today, I describe how the stroke affected my ability to communicate (aphasia); there is also an update, ‘Ten Years After the Stroke‘, where I explain my newly found mission in life. And in a paper, published in Aphasie et domains associés, I have given a more detailed account of all the issues that a recovering stroke patient may experience to today’s society.
- Specifically communication problems of an aphasic are dealt with in talk I gave for the Stoke Alliance for Europe (SAFE); it can be found under “Communication in Everyday Life” (it is at 34:40, and the questions are at 1:18:50).
- In Babel I have summarized the consequence of being a multilingual person on language recovery following a stroke (‘Losing Language – Multilingualism and Aphasia‘); a much extended and referenced version has been published in the International Journal of English Linguistics (‘Multilingualism in Stroke Patients’) where I discuss factors that influence language recovery emphasizing the emotional attachment to languages, and languages used during therapy.
- Aphasia was also the focus of the TV broadcast “gesundheit heute”, which ran a feature on my story (follow this link, it is at 6:53 minutes); it also provides an in depth interview (both are in Swiss German).
- aphasia, a magazine of Aphasie Suisse for aphasiacs and their families, published my piece “The day when all changed: my life after the stroke”. It is available in German (p. 8), French (p. 34) and Italian (p. 54); the whole magazine (1/2020), including the article, can be found here.
aphasia (2/2020) also published a “Personal account of the impact of the Corona crisis”. It is available in German (pp. 12-13), in French (pp. 48-49) and in Italian (pp. 70-71); the whole magazine (2/2020), including the article can be found here.
aphasia (3/2020) has published a piece on “How I imagine Switzerland in 2030”. It is available in German (pp. 8-9), in French (pp. 36-37) and in Italian (pp. 54-55); the whole magazine (3/2020), including the article can be found here.
aphasia (1/2021) has printed an article of mine, titled “Finally time to get some research done”. It can be accessed here (German pp. 18-19; French pp. 48-49; Italian pp. 72-73).
aphasia (3/2021), finally, has an article of mine, titled “Stolz sein – Persönlich, professionell und allgemein” (German only). It can be accessed here.
- Daniel McKeon interviewed me in a podcast about strokes and its consequences; it can be found here: https://soundcloud.com/daniel-mckeon-283760079/interview-with-jurg-schwyter-1
- Sophie Badoux has interviewed me and then written a very nice portrait, “Surmonter l’aphasie”, in the university journal “l’uniscope”.
- René Staubli wrote a nice piece on aphasia featuring my story, which has been published on 5 March 2013 in a number of Swiss-German dailies (“Tagesanzeiger”, “Der Bund” and “Berner Zeitung”).
- Juliane Hartmann, representative for education of the Protestant Churches in Switzerland, conducted an interview with me which resulted in a nice article, published in June 2015 and entitled “Mit Lebenslust auf der ‘slow lane’ unterwegs” (“Enjoying life in the slow lane”). The article (it is in German only) can be read here: Magazin Bildungkirche.
- For the 30-year anniversary of Aphasie-Suisse in 2013, Ms Barbara Lukesch has written a booklet comprising 10 portraits of aphasics, one of which features my story in German (‘Wie ein Blitz aus heiterem Himmel’) and in French (‘Comme un éclair venu de nulle part’) translated by Mr Gregoire Python. The transcript of the interview with me during the launch event can be found here in German and here in French.
- In 2015 the Swiss Brain Foundation (Ligue Suisse pour le cerveau) did a fund-raiser with my story; it can be read here in French and in German.
- “Fragile Suisse” have published a short blog of mine, which I originally wrote to improve my German writing; it is an an essay on the events surrounding my stroke (www.fragile.ch > Fachpersonen > Erfahrungsberichte).