Cincinnati Children's Blog

Stroke survivor speaks again

When Adam Zust walks the graduation line in a couple of weeks, his family will have extra reason to cheer.

He overcame a stroke to get there.

Adam’s graduation from St. Xavier High School with the class of 2012 comes a year later than originally planned. But the wait helped him put everything else into perspective.

Adam’s life was put on hold on Nov. 26, 2010. He was running on a treadmill at home and suffered an unexplained stroke. He couldn’t move the right side of his body and he couldn’t speak. His stroke caused a language disorder called aphasia. It meant all of his knowledge was stuck in his head and he had trouble getting the words out.

Stephanie Volker, a speech-language pathologist who leads the Outpatient Neurorehabilitation team at Cincinnati Children’s, worked with him to get past his speech problems.

“He’s made a tremendous amount of progress,” she says.

Adam learned how to talk, how to move and how to run again. He will go on to major in mechanical engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

Adam wants his story to be an inspiration to others. As part of Speech and Hearing Awareness Month, we’re sharing even more stories of motivation.

Find out how early treatment helped Olivia LaRosa deal with a hearing impairment. Watch Olivia’s story.

Or how technology acts as Joanna Bendel’s voice. Watch Joanna’s story.

Or how Joe Kastner’s family learned to be better listeners. Watch Joe’s story.

At Cincinnati Children’s, helping kids reach milestones is part of getting them back to good health. But we’re amazed at what they give back, teaching us all how to overcome the roadblocks we face in life.


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