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Monday, November 2, 2009

A chat with Lynn Morris

Lynn MorrisThis afternoon, I had a lovely chat with Lynn Morris and Marshall Wilborn. Longtime bluegrass fans are well familiar with Lynn’s many years as a performer, bandleader and friend to our music, and we all felt a great loss when she suffered a stroke in Match of 2003, keeping her off the road and out of the studio.

We’ve heard from many readers since then asking how she is doing, and we are happy to share that she is doing fine, and continuing to make progress in her struggles to recover. Lynn suffered her stroke 3 days after what was expected to be a routine knee replacement procedure (due to a blood clot), leaving her with a substantial reduction in facility on her right side, and a frustrating aphasia that restricts her ability to communicate verbally.

As we spoke today, Lynn’s language issues were apparent, but she takes it all in stride with good humor and an enduring spirit. Marshall, her husband and former musical partner, joined us in the conversation, and would pop in to help whenever Lynn was unable to complete a thought or find the word she was after.

She has been working with a speech therapist, and is making progress in dealing with her aphasia.

“I found a teacher in DC, Darlene Williamson – I can write a letter now. She works with stroke survivors, and has all the knowledge.

My talking is not exactly right, but I’m good. I’m a strong woman.”

Marshall explained how Williamson came into their life…

Marshall Wilborn and Lynn Morris in Ladysmith, VA - photo © Dean Hoffmeyer“Darlene has been working with Lynn for a while, and it’s a very positive thing. The two of them have become great friends. Darlene is one of many angels that have come into her life.

Our friend Esther Meckler (from Connecticut) found Darlene for us. Esther is the head of SpayUSA, and we became friends through Lynn’s association with ASPCA and her animal welfare activities.

About 3 years ago Esther was visiting DC, and we met her for dinner and talked about Lynn’s aphasia. Within a day or two after that, Esther had done the one thing that had never occurred to me to do – get on the Internet and Google aphasia – and she found this place about an hour from where we live called the Stroke Comeback Center, Darlene’s practice.”

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