Gabrielle (Gabby) Dee Giffords
Gabby Giffords was a member of the United States House of Representatives, she represented Arizona’s 8th Congressional district from 2007-2012. She is the 3rd woman in Arizona’s history to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Ms. Giffords is native of Tucson, Arizona.
On January 8, 2011, Ms. Giffords was a victim of a shooting in Arizona, which was reported to be an assassination attempt on her. She was critically injured by a gunshot wound to her head. She survived the attack but her head injury resulted in Aphasia in addition to other injury-related cognitive and physical deficits. Ms. Giffords underwent physical, occupational, and speech therapy and was able to recover much of her ability to speak, read, and write (alongside with other cognitive and physical abilities).
More about Gabby Giffords:
In 2001, the actress suffered a stroke that bled into her brain for 11 days. She was partially paralyzed and left with a speech impediment. Through rehabilitation, she returned to her film and television roles without hindrance. [Source: NIH MedLine Plus, Sharon Stone]
Kirk Douglas is an american actor, producer and writer with 87 films to his name. He suffered a stroke in 1996 at the age of 79 that left him with depression, inability to speak and a feeling that his life was over. But a few years later, at the age of 90, he said about his stroke:
“My stroke, 11 years ago, was a blessing in disguise. I learned that we take too many things for granted in this world—even speech. We think our thoughts and then we have no difficulty saying it in words. When you have a stroke your mind thinks quickly but your speech reacts very slowly. You have to learn how to use your tongue, your lips, your teeth.” [Source: interview with Kirk Douglas for NIH Medline Plus]
At 98, he continues to work daily on his speech.