You probably remember her from Basic Instinct, captivating her questioners while answering questions in that little white dress. But Sharon Stone is equally known for the work she has done to raise awareness for strokes after a brain aneurysm in 2001.

We’ve been profiling well-known people with aphasia, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Gabby Giffords. We’ve now turned our attention to actress, Sharon Stone.

Bleeding in Her Brain Changed Everything

Sharon Stone went from feeling unwell to waking up in a hospital with bleeding in her brain. “It took months for her to regain feeling in her left leg and years for her vision to return to normal.” She also experienced speech issues, including aphasia and then an on-going stutter.

At the same time, Stone points out the positives of the experience:

On the plus side, “I became more emotionally intelligent. I chose to work very hard to open up other parts of my mind. Now I’m stronger. And I can be abrasively direct. That scares people, but I think that’s not my problem.” She laughs. “It’s like, I have brain damage; you’ll just have to deal with it.”

Her Stroke Awareness Work

It took her years of recovery, but she has since returned to acting. She has also become involved in stroke awareness work. She went on Oprah to speak about her experience:

And presented at the 2013 Life After Stroke Awards:

She continues to act and speak openly about how stroke has changed her life.

Image: Siebbi via Flickr via Creative Commons license