Blogger Shares her Story of Hemiplegia

When the human brain experiences a sudden disruption of blood flow, a type of paralysis called “hemiplegia” can result.

Paralysis can occur on either the right or left side of the body, hence the term “hemi” meaning “half.” Hemiplegia can interfere with speech patterns, and can cause rigidity and balance issues. It is usually the result of a stroke, but it can also be the result of a traumatic brain injury, or excessive drug use.

Irene Fischer, a South African radio personality, knows all too well the frustrations of hemiplegia. In 2009, while on her way to work, she was involved in a devastating car accident. She was not expected to survive her injuries, which included multiple broken bones, punctured organs, and a traumatic brain injury. It took Ms. Fischer several years to walk independently, and it was an arduous and painful journey for her. In her blog, “Life with a Broken Brain” she quotes the writer Charles Bukowski, who said:

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”

It seems to me that Ms. Fischer has done an excellent job of withstanding the flames. I’m also impressed with her blog because of it’s honest but inspirational tone.

If you, or a member of your family is living with hemiplegia, and are in need of support, the Brain Injury Resource Center has a fantastic list of groups, organizations, and other links to help you find just the right help.


Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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