You helped me eat again.

Dear BJC Home Care,

I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank my BJC Home Care speech pathologist, Cristal, for all of the help I received.

My situation was dire. A stroke left me bereft of speech and the ability to swallow. Slowly, my speech was coming back, but I was on a feeding tube and had only a formative capacity to swallow.

When Cristal began my speech therapy, my goal was to eat and have my feeding tube removed. I knew that I could not thrive on liquid food.

Under her kind, professional tutelage, I began to eat soft foods and I quickly advanced to solids. She helped me plan menus and keep a food log of the foods I had eaten. Janet, my dietitian, sent a menu for me to follow revolving around my food interests. All the while Cristal also used the VitalStim device, an electronic device that was extremely helpful in stimulating my weak muscles.

To my utter joy, I reached the point where I could have my feeding tube removed, a feat that could never have been accomplished without Cristal's help.

Cristal exemplifies excellence as a speech therapist: She communicated with my former therapist about my case, she was vigilant about giving me exercises, she used the VitalStim device that helped strengthen my muscles, she helped me plan meals and she worked with my future out-patient therapist to continue my care. Most importantly, she believed in me.

Thank you, Cristal, for all of your innumerable kindnesses. I am going to miss you.

- Sally