Willie Bonaparte has been participating in research studies within the Aphasia Lab for nearly 15 years. “Back then,” Bonaparte explained, “we had to go all the way to Charleston for the testing.” As Bonaparte described his experiences, he pointed out and greeted two other men who he explained would make the trip to Charleston with him years ago to participate in research studies.
Shortly after participating in the research studies, Bonaparte began attending the Aphasia Recovery groups at the University of South Carolina Communication Sciences and Disorders (COMD) Department. Having participated for many years, Bonaparte spoke out about meeting people who share some of his same experiences and what he has enjoyed the most about his participation:
“I have a lot of fun [in the aphasia groups]. The groups they have me in now, I think I learn a lot about myself. It’s amazing to see people go around to talk. Some people can’t talk, some people can’t speak loud. Stroke is a bad thing to have, but we learn a lot.”
After reflecting on his memories from the past 15 years, Bonaparte emphasized one last point: “Learning how my brain works– that’s the best part.”