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When The Words Away Went: documentary film raising aphasia awareness

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On the 26th May, a documentary from the Stroke Association follows the journey of three stroke survivors and the challenges they face living with aphasia, is set to be released to stream.

Titled When the Words Away Went, the documentary film is a collaboration between the Stroke Association and RWD Films, it is also the Stroke Association’s first ever documentary film.

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain, most commonly caused by stroke.

The condition causes the person with it to have difficulties with language or speech.

Treatments such as speech therapy can help to lessen the effects of aphasia over time, however, many people will still continue to have communication problems. 

The film

The film is part of the Stroke Association’s #LetsTalkAphasia awareness campaign which started at the beginning of stroke awareness month.

Broadcaster for BBC 5 Live F1, Jennie Gow, who is a recent stroke survivor shared the trailer for the film on Twitter, and also noted that until she suffered with aphasia herself, she like a lot of people, did not know about the condition.

The documentary film follows stroke survivors, Steve, Tom and Julie as they prepare for major milestones in their recovery from stroke.

Julie is preparing to give a speech at a local school to help spread awareness on aphasia, the trailer shows what impact her stroke and consequently living with aphasia has on her family. In the trailer, her daughter, says: “It’s like she’s there, but she’s not there at the same time.”

Steve is due to be married, in the trailer we see the effect living with aphasia has on him as he struggles with learning his wedding vows, his wife to be tells him: “If you can’t get these words out on the day, they can’t marry us,” giving the audience a hard hitting truth of the struggles aphasia effects the everyday life of the person with the condition.

Tom, has an upcoming art exhibition, however, we find out in the trailer that previous to his stroke Tom never painted but now uses art as a form of expression and release, he says: “When I’m actually painting, I’m not in the room.” 

Where to watch?

When the Words Away Went will be available to stream from May 26th on the Stroke Association website and on Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4.

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