Finding Her Voice

As a volunteer at the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center in 2013, Jenni Shafer found herself caught between two agitated horses. She woke up the next day in the ICU after being knocked unconscious and then undergoing an emergency craniotomy.

The four years since that accident have been arduous. Immediately after, she battled aphasia, an acquired language disorder that affects one’s ability to express or understand language. Her aphasia resolved weeks after, but she continued to combat apraxia of speech, a motor speech disorder that affects the brain’s ability to plan and carry out speech production.

But the four years since have also been rewarding. Little research on adults with apraxia exists. So Shafer set out to change that.

“That just wasn’t good enough for me” she said.

She took her recovery process into her own hands and enrolled as a doctoral student in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences.

Read the complete Carolina Story from the UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences…

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