Stroke patients find healing in the banging of drums - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Stroke patients find healing in the banging of drums

June 5, 2003
Albany-Kimberly Rogers is not a professional percussionist. But you wouldn't have known it by the end of her first stroke support group session.

At only 31-years-old, Rogers suffered a stroke less than eight months ago, just days after her son Ronnie was born. It paralyzed her left side and took half her vision.

She's on the road to recovery, so her therapist recommended this support group.

"You feel kind of different from everybody else, but here, she said that I'd fit in, and I do," Rogers said.

And she's getting a little help from the healing powers of music, or in this case, the beating of drums.

"Drumming has many facits to it and I've found out since I've become a part of it that drumming also has a therapeutic part to it to," said Eartha Watkins, the drum group leader. "It's sort of gets those good cells moving around."

 It's about getting your body moving, but having a good time too. And for Rogers, it's about being around people who understand.

"You can come here and come to therapy and you see other people doing the same things and you can motivate each other," Rogers said.

After all, there's a lot depending on her health.

"I wanted to be a mother. I was married 11 years and we waited 11 years to have him and I'm determined I'm going to experience everything I can."

So she'll keep pounding, banging and drumming all the way to full recovery.

The stroke support group tries different activities at each meeting. They meet the first Thursday of every month at 4:30 at Phoebe Putney Northwest. For more information, you can call 229-312-8710.

posted by brannon.stewart@walb.com

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