Aphasia is a docu-drama about Carl McIntyre, a formerly successful actor and salesman, who suffered a carotid embolic stroke, and was left with partial paralysis on one side and Broca’s aphasia afterward. According to Ability Magazine, Dec/Jan 2010-2011, pp.12-14., Carl was only 46 years old, and his wife and kids initially thought he was just playing when he fell to the floor and started crawling.
According to Ability Magazine,
Aphasia affects about one million Americans (or about 1 in 250 people) and is more common than Parkinsons’, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy.
Aphasia: The Movie tracks Carl’s frustration, anger, and determination to get his ‘voice’ back. As a result, the viewer becomes intimately familiar with the challenges of aphasia. People with aphasia commonly struggle with an inability to translate what is in their mind into what is spoken aloud. Words and speech must be relearned, as if the person is returning to kindergarten.
Carl dubs his wife Elizabeth, to whom the film is dedicated, his “angel” during the trials of his recovery. Elizabeth notes the experience of Carl’s illness felt like losing her best friend: they could no longer watch television, share jokes, and laugh together. Once happy as a stay-at-home mom, Elizabeth found she had to go back to work as a teacher to help support the family. Since the film’s production, however, the McIntyres say they have found a new sense of purpose and have been able to enjoy a new phase in their lives.
Today Carl is a spokesman for aphasia and has made a career of promoting his film and giving motivational presentations. He plans to teach acting again and maybe even perform a one-man show.
Carl is now functioning well enough to be currently engaged in speaking tours presenting the movie.
According to the Aphasia The Movie website,
Aphasia premiered at the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine’s Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences on May 1st 2010.
Since then, the film has been acclaimed on the international film festival circuit and has been shown as part of Carl’s presentations to Speech-Language Pathology students, stroke survivors and their families, neurologists and other interested groups.
Carl and the film can be booked through carlmcintyre.com.