Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bette Davis

Illness, conflict and death
Davis's final completed role in The Whales of August (1987) brought her acclaim during a period in which she was beset with failing health and personal trauma.
Davis's final completed role in The Whales of August (1987) brought her acclaim during a period in which she was beset with failing health and personal trauma.

In 1983, after filming the pilot episode for the television series Hotel, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy. Within two weeks of her surgery she suffered four strokes which caused paralysis in the right side of her face and in her left arm, and left her with slurred speech. She commenced a lengthy period of physical therapy and, aided by her personal assistant, Kathryn Sermak, gained partial recovery from the paralysis.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Grace Kelly

On September 13, 1982, while driving with her daughter Stéphanie to Monaco from their country home, Princess Grace suffered a stroke, which caused her to drive her Rover P6[15] off the serpentine road down a mountainside. Princess Grace was pulled alive from the wreckage, but had suffered serious injuries and was unconscious. She died the following day at The Princess Grace Hospital Centre, having never regained consciousness. It was initially reported that Princess Stéphanie suffered only minor bruising, although it later emerged that she had suffered a serious cervical fracture.[16] It was rumored that Princess Grace had been driving on the same stretch of highway that had been featured in her 1955 movie To Catch a Thief; but, her son has always denied it.[17]

Princess Grace was buried in the Grimaldi family vault on September 18, 1982, after a requiem mass in Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Monaco.[18] Prince Rainier, who did not remarry after Kelly's death, was buried alongside her following his death in 2005. The 400 guests at the service included representatives of foreign governments and of present and past European royal houses (Diana, Princess of Wales was the only member of the British royal family to attend), as well as several veteran US film stars. Nearly 100 million people worldwide watched her funeral.[19]

In his eulogy, James Stewart said: "You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I'll miss her, we'll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace."

[edit] Legacy

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kim Jong-il

On 9 September 2008, various sources reported that after he did not show up that day for a military parade celebrating North Korea's 60th anniversary, US intelligence agencies believed Kim might be "gravely ill" after having suffered a stroke. He had last been seen in public a month earlier.[44][45] A former CIA official said earlier reports of a health crisis were likely to be accurate. North Korean media remained silent on the issue. An Associated Press report said analysts believed Kim had been supporting moderates in the foreign ministry, while North Korea's powerful military was against negotiations with China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the United States aimed towards ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons. Some US officials noted that soon after rumours about Kim's health were publicized a month before, North Korea had taken a "tougher line in nuclear negotiations." In late August North Korea's official news agency reported the government would "consider soon a step to restore the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon to their original state as strongly requested by its relevant institutions." Analysts said this meant "the military may have taken the upper hand and that Kim might no longer be wielding absolute authority."[46]

By 10 September there were conflicting reports. Unidentified South Korean government officials said Kim had undergone surgery after suffering a minor stroke and had apparently "intended to attend the 9 September event in the afternoon but decided not to because of the aftermath of the surgery." High ranking North Korean official Kim Yong-nam said, "While we wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the country with General Secretary Kim Jong-Il, we celebrated on our own." Song Il-Ho, North Korea's ambassador said, "We see such reports as not only worthless, but rather as a conspiracy plot." Seoul's Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that "the South Korean embassy in Beijing had received an intelligence report that Kim collapsed on 22 August."[47] The New York Times reported Kim was "very ill and most likely suffered a stroke a few weeks ago, but U.S. intelligence authorities do not think his death is imminent."[48] The BBC noted that the North Korean government denied these reports, stating that Kim's health problems were "not serious enough to threaten his life,"[49][50] although they did confirm that he had suffered from a stroke on 15 August.[51]

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported on September 14 that "Kim collapsed on August 14 due to stroke or a cerebral hemorrhage, and that Beijing dispatched 5 military doctors at the request of Pyongyang. Kim will require a long period of rest and rehabilitation before he fully recovers and has complete command of his limbs again, as with typical stroke victims." Japan's Mainichi Shimbun daily said Kim occasionally lost consciousness since April.[52] Japan's Tokyo Shimbun on September 15 added that Kim has consciousness "but he needs some time to recuperate from the recent stroke, with some parts of his hands and feet paralyzed. The U.S. move is one cause for the stroke. Chairman Kim is now staying at the Bongwha State Guest House on the outskirts of Pyongyang."[53]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Randy Pausch Last Lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Edward Kennedy taken to hospital

US Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy is resting and undergoing tests in a Boston hospital after experiencing what his office says was a "seizure".

Mr Kennedy, 76, is conscious and talking with his family after earlier being flown from Cape Cod to Massachusetts General Hospital.

His doctors have said that he did not suffer a stroke, as initially feared.

The youngest brother of assassinated President John F Kennedy, he is one of the best-known Democratic politicians.

He has been an active supporter of Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for US president.

His office said in a statement that he was "resting comfortably".

"It appears that Sen Kennedy experienced a seizure this morning," it said.

"He is undergoing a battery of tests at Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the cause of the seizure."

Mr Kennedy had preventative surgery in October to unclog a partially blocked carotid artery in his neck - a condition that can lead to a stroke.

But Mr Kennedy's doctor, Larry Ronan, said that preliminary tests showed that he had not suffered a stroke and was not in "immediate danger".

"He's resting comfortably, and watching the Red Sox game with his family," Dr Ronan said.

"Over the next couple of days, Senator Kennedy will undergo further evaluation to determine the cause of the seizure, and a course of treatment will be determined at that time."

His latest illness came as the Kennedy family prepared to host a major charity event at their estate in Hyannisport.

Tragic history

Mr Kennedy is the second longest-serving member of the Senate.

He was first elected senator for Massachusetts in November 1962 - shortly after turning the requisite 30 years of age - to replace his brother, who had been elected president in 1960.

Since then he has been re-elected seven times.

Mr Obama, widely expected to win the Democratic nomination, described Mr Kennedy as "a giant in American political history".

"He's done more for health care than just about anybody in history," he said.

The presumptive Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, described Mr Kennedy as a "legendary lawmaker".

Born into a rich and powerful Irish-American Catholic family, the son of Joseph Kennedy, Edward "Teddy" Kennedy became the head of the clan after the death of his three elder brothers.

The eldest, Joseph Jr, was killed while flying a bomber during World War II.

John was assassinated while president in 1963, and Robert was shot dead while running for president in 1968.

Edward, or Teddy, as he is known, ran against sitting President Jimmy Carter in 1980, but failed, after struggling to put the infamous "Chappaquiddick incident" behind him.

He had, in 1969, crashed a car off a bridge, and while he escaped, his young female passenger drowned in the water below. He fled and did not report the incident to police for over eight hours.

He later pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and received a suspended two month sentence.

Mr Kennedy is also the father of Congressman Patrick J Kennedy.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


June brings awareness to Aphasia

(June 5, 2008) — Deep red, plump, juicy cherries signal the arrival of June and trigger memories of Paris, France, where I spent a summer with friends exploring art, culture and fashion, all the while discovering Europe and keeping nutrition the first priority of each day...

To Live and To Blog

Harvard researchers are trying to learn about the positive effects that blogging has for people with chronic conditions. The overall health effect of blogging is becoming a hot topic of research, as evidence seems to
point both ways.

Scientific American reports:

According to Alice Flaherty, a neuroscientist at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, the placebo theory of suffering is one window through which to view blogging. As social creatures, humans have a range of pain-related behaviors, such as complaining, which acts as a “placebo for getting satisfied,” Flaherty says. Blogging about stressful experiences might work similarly.

Flaherty, who studies conditions such as hypergraphia (an uncontrollable urge to write) and writer’s block, also looks to disease models to explain the drive behind this mode of communication. For example, people with mania often talk too much. “We believe something in the brain’s limbic system is boosting their desire to communicate,” Flaherty explains. Located mainly in the midbrain, the limbic system controls our drives, whether they are related to food, sex, appetite, or problem solving. “You know that drives are involved [in blogging] because a lot of people do it compulsively,” Flaherty notes. Also, blogging might trigger dopamine release, similar to stimulants like music, running and looking at art.

The frontal and temporal lobes, which govern speech—no dedicated writing center is hardwired in the brain—may also figure in. For example, lesions in Wernicke’s area, located in the left temporal lobe, result in excessive speech and loss of language comprehension. People with Wernicke’s aphasia speak in gibberish and often write constantly. In light of these traits, Flaherty speculates that some activity in this area could foster the urge to blog.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stroke survivors’ plight highlighted

Support call for those left with impaired communication

Published: 28/05/2008

SCOTTISH health organisations are calling on the government to provide support for patients who have had a stroke and have difficulty communicating as a result.

The Lost Without Words campaign is urging ministers to give more attention to stroke survivors with speech difficulties and make communications support an integral part of stroke care.

The Stroke Association, Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland and Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in Scotland have joined forces on the back of the UK Lost Without Words report from the Stroke Association. They are also working with the charity Speakability, which works with people suffering from aphasia – where they find it hard to speak, read, write or understand language.

About 12,500 people have a stroke in Scotland each year. About 40% are left with physical, neurological or psychological damage and up to a third of that 40% face communication difficulties.

Campaigners are asking government and health boards to gather more comprehensive information about stroke survivors with a communication difficulty so support can be planned.

Maddy Halliday, director of the Stroke Association Scotland, said: “Aphasia is by far the most common communication disability and this can affect the ability to speak and understand language as well as the serious related effects such as distress, difficulties with day to day life and for some, the inability to get back to work.”

Saturday, May 10, 2008

National Aphasia Association

Speaking Out! Sixth National Aphasia Association Conference

June 19, 2008 - June 21, 2008

The Conference will be taking place at the Kimmel Center for University Life at New York University. Located at 60 Washington Square South New York, NY 10012
Keynote Speakers

Invited Speakers

Discussion Points Include

For More Information, please contact one of the following:

Office of Special Programs at New York University. (212) 992-9380.

Sharon M. Antonucci, Ph.D. CCC-SLP. Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology. (212)-992-9445,

Ellayne Ganzfried, M.S. CCC-SLP, Executive Director, National Aphasia Association, (212) 267-2814,

Sponsored by: The National Aphasia Association and The Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at NYU Steinhardt

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Which treatments are exempt?

T. Banusekar

Three months ago, I had spent Rs 32,000 towards the laser surgery of my father’s eyes. Will the amount spent by me towards the laser surgery be eligible for deduction under Section 80DDB or under any other Section? — Komaravel K.

Section 80DDB allows a deduction to a resident individual if he incurs expenditure on medial treatment of a disease or an ailment specified by the board if the treatment is for himself or a dependent of his. The deduction will be the amount actually incurred or Rs 40,000 whichever is less (Rs 60,000 if the patient is a senior citizen).

National Hospital of Iceland Breaks Language Barriers

The National Hospital of Iceland (LSH) has begun using a 38-page picture book to ease communication between staff and patients where language and/or physical condition hinders patients from expressing their wishes.

“It is thought of as a tool for reaching those who have difficulties expressing themselves or do not understand what we tell them,” teaching and educational nurse at LSH Inga Teitsdóttir told Morgunbladid.

“They may be patients on respirators, people who suffer from nervous diseases that cause aphasia […], or belong to the growing group of patients of foreign origin who don’t speak Icelandic or any language that we speak,” Teitsdóttir said.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008