SPEAK EASY: Stroke survivor Jo Bradley is now able to communicate more easily using the new iPads and PowerBox donated by the Mundubbera Freemasons.
SPEAK EASY: Stroke survivor Jo Bradley is now able to communicate more easily using the new iPads and PowerBox donated by the Mundubbera Freemasons. WBHHS

Secret society helps return gift of the gab to others

FORMER teacher Jo Bradley has spent the last four months trapped in her own body.

After surviving a stroke in April, Ms Bradley had to re-learn how to communicate with others, which she described as a frightening and frustrating experience.

"I can read, but I just can't speak like I could, it's a very frustrating feeling," Ms Bradley said.

Other debilitating conditions such as Motor Neurone Disease or Cerebral Palsy can cause a loss of muscle control and coordination which can make it difficult or seemingly impossible to talk to others.

To help people in these situations communicate more easily, the Mundubbera Freemasons have donated almost $10,000 worth of speech equipment to the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

With the help of organisations such as the Sandy Strait Sizzlers, the Freemasons have bought a PowerBox Motion Access tablet and iPads including communication apps for the hospital's speech therapy departments.

Speech Pathologist Quaneta Greenwood said the new technology would help the patients learn how to communicate as well as talking for them when needed.

Out-patients will be able to take the tablets home as part of their rehabilitation process.

Ms Bradley said to be able to communicate again easily would be a freeing experience.

"It would be amazing."