Aphasia Ambassador and Advocate: Amy Walters

News, Success Story

In continuation of our Aphasia Ambassador series, we are excited to shine a spotlight on California resident and U-M Aphasia Program (UMAP) client Amy Walters.

Amy and her husband Dave have attended three intensive UMAP sessions and are active ambassadors in the aphasia community, frequently speaking to others about their experiences and advocating for the benefits of long-term and intensive aphasia therapy. 

Amy gave the first Amy Walters Patient Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) on July 24 — the very setting of her stroke exactly two years prior. Amy presented to a large lecture hall filled with colleagues of whom she closely worked with while promoting medical devices that are used everyday to save lives such as her own. The Patient Lecture endowed in Amy’s name will bring a patient and their family to each SNIS Annual Meeting in the future. SNIS leadership hopes that this lecture series, focused on the patient experience, will continue to inspire its members and remind them of the importance of their work.

Amy’s promotion of aphasia awareness and perspective was an invaluable addition to the program, as she shared her own experience, the demanding process of recovery, and the hope and determination she continues to possess. The crowd offered a standing ovation following Amy’s presentation. Her colleagues recognized her bravery and the hard work it took to share her stroke story and the challenges and opportunities that have come with having aphasia.   

When asked what she felt was most important to share with her fellow colleagues at the conference, Amy stressed that throughout the recovery process, “determination is key,” and you just have to “keep moving and keep going.” 

We are thankful for Amy’s empowerment on behalf of the aphasia community. The Amy Walters Patient Lecture will continue to give patients a platform for communicating with medical professionals in the field of neurology, neuroradiology, and neurosurgery. 

You can check out a recording of the full Amy Walters Patient Lecture, if you are interested in hearing her whole talk.

Check out more inspiring Success Stories  from others with aphasia on our website.  If you are interested in lending your voice to the cause of raising aphasia awareness, fill out our Aphasia Ambassador Application and we will be in touch! If you are interested in more information about the U-M Aphasia Program, visit the UMAP page.