When a therapist really knows the patient perspective

Know Stroke Podcast

When a therapist really knows the patient perspective

Michelle Ballasiotes spent her childhood in therapy in order to gain mobility after suffering a perinatal stroke, she now uses this lived experience as an Occupational Therapist.
June 16, 2023

When a therapist really knows the patient perspective

In Episode 55 we’re joined by Michelle Ballasiotes, a pediatric stroke survivor and occupational therapist. Michelle suffered what is called a perinatal stroke which usually occurs between the middle of pregnancy and delivery. Her childhood consisted of weekly physical and occupational therapy for more than 10 years in order to gain mobility due to right hemiplegia, or paralysis on the right side of the body. She also has hydrocephalus, or an excess of cerebral spinal fluid, in her brain, resulting in having a shunt placed in her head at three days old.

Some of the topics from our conversation:

  • Surviving a stroke before birth and life with hemiplegia
  • Leveraging the patient experience to become an empathetic provider
  • Overcoming the stigma & participating in adaptive sports
  • The dating scene and intimacy as a young adult stroke survivor
  • Advocacy efforts with the International Pediatric Stroke Alliance

Michelle also gets us thinking about starting a Pickleball for stroke survivors – you don’t want to miss this one.

To connect with Michelle you can find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Learn more about the International Pediatric Stroke Alliance.

Show Credits:

Music intro credit to Jake Dansereau. Our intro welcome is the voice of Caroline Goggin, a stroke survivor and our first podcast guest! Please listen to her inspiring story on Episode 2 of the podcast.

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