Vietnam War Navy Veteran Dave Hume suffered a major stroke while admitted to James Haley Veterans’ Hospital on Feb. 2, 2017. Nurses and doctors rushed to Hume’s side and managed to stabilize his condition. But when the doctors came the next morning to check his condition, Hume realized that he could not speak.

After his stroke, Hume was diagnosed with Global Aphasia, a communication disorder which impairs a patient’s ability to process language. Unable to express any words or ideas, Hume thought his life was over. Yet, three days after his stroke, he met the person who would prove him wrong.

On this week’s episode of Borne the Battle, Navy Veteran and stroke survivor Dave Hume shares the journey of how he went from only expressing three words after his stroke to writing his own blog and becoming a motivational speaker. Pathologist Karyn Pingel, who joins him on this episode, is at the center of his rehabilitative journey.

Pingel works closely with Hume to help him relearn how to speak and read. Under her guidance, Hume has made impressive progress. He actively writes a blog and talks to doctors and medical students interested in speech therapy.

The two developed a close relationship and Hume happily calls Pingel a close friend. Even with COVID-19 keeping them apart, Pingel utilizes VA Telehealth Services to continue Hume’s therapy routine.

Pingel notes that any Veteran enrolled for healthcare with the Veterans Health Administration is eligible to receive VA speech language pathology services if they need help in any of the following areas:

  • Speech
  • Language
  • Swallowing
  • Voice
  • Cognitive-communication disorders

Hume and Pingel hope his story will inspire other Veterans eligible for pathology services to begin talking with their primary or specialty care providers to get a referral.


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Calvin Wong is an intern with VA’s Digital Media Engagement team. He studies History as an undergraduate at the University of California, Davis.

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Published on Dec. 14, 2020

Estimated reading time is 2 min.

Views to date: 195

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