Brenda Juranek with her speech therapist, Ashley Berry

A brain aneurysm left 65-year-old Brenda Juranek unable to swallow.


Juranek came to Wooldridge Place Nursing Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, on June 4, 2018, for speech therapy to restore her ability to eat and drink. She also had aphasia, an issue in which the brain forgets how to process language.


Ashley Berry, speech therapist, worked with Juranek five days a week to help her get back to normal. She taught her oral motor exercises, as well as laryngeal/pharyngeal exercises and compensatory strategies for swallowing. They also worked on recall, word finding and conversational tasks.


“Brenda and her family were motivated from the beginning to help her return to her prior level of function,” said Berry. “She never lost her motivation or desire to get better.”


When Juranek returned home on Aug. 8, she was able to eat regular textures and drink nectar-thick liquids. Her aphasia had also improved.


“I wasn’t able to do anything with my voice or swallow, and then you [Berry] came,” Juranek said.