I had to learn to write, read and speak like a child - Lira opens up about her stroke

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It's been a year since Lira suffered a stroke.
It's been a year since Lira suffered a stroke.
Oupa Bopape

She couldn’t talk. She was moving her mouth but words just weren’t coming out.

And she tried to text, but her fingers wouldn’t cooperate.

She was finally able to get help the next day and now, a year later, she’s learnt to speak again and is in a good place.

Musician Lira, real name Lerato Molapo, details the day she had a stroke while in Germany for a performance.

On the one year anniversary of her stroke, she told fans and followers she was alone when she had the stroke in the afternoon and walked two hours to get to her hotel.

“It had been 3 years since I travelled overseas due to covid and I had travelled alone to Frankfurt, the band was coming from Sweden. I arrived two days before my performance. I walked around taking in the sights and scenes and the people. I had seen a poster with the @nilslandgrenfunkunit featuring Moses and myself.

"I even saw the venue where we would’ve performed. I spent the whole afternoon walking.

“At about 4:15pm I had a stroke, the sensation lasted about 15 minutes. I had no idea what was happening , so I kept walking and nobody could see that I had a stroke because I was walking normally. I walked into a restaurant but I couldn’t talk - I moved my mouth but words couldn’t come out. When I realised this, I just broke down.”

She couldn’t communicate and couldn’t even ask for directions to her hotel, which was nearby.

“Once I stopped crying and got myself together, I left. It took me 2 hours to find my hotel.

“It was about 7pm when I got to my hotel - I couldn’t communicate with the receptionist so I just took a shower and tried to communicate via WhatsApp, but I could not type. The words made absolutely no sense to me. I couldn’t figure out what the letters meant and how to put them together. I managed to get a hold of someone special to me- and got them to understand that I wasn’t alright.”

Read more | Lira updates fans on her health – 'I’m doing the best I can to remain sane'

She fell asleep and in the morning her agent tried to reach her. When she couldn’t, she sent two people to her room who then figured out that she couldn’t speak.

”The German promoter came and called the ambulance. The paramedics couldn’t speak English and it’s only when I got to hospital that I found out that I had a stroke. Wow!!! I was shocked. I cried the whole day - and in the morning I accepted my situation.”

She then details some of her healing process.

“I had Aphasia - I couldn’t speak, or write or read. And I must say that I am lucky! Many people don’t come away with that!

“I had to learn speaking as a child, learning how to say each letter, and forming a sentence. I did so joyfully though, I had no anxiety, no stress - just peace and calm. I have made such huge progress and I gave a speech at my birthday party. I’m almost there.”

Lira thanked all those who kept her in their prayers and good thoughts.

“In the year that I’ve needed to learn how to speak - I’ve enjoyed listening and the silence. I’ve learnt to be happier. I’ve learnt to enjoy the simple things. Life is a gift and I hope to celebrate the gift of life for many years.”

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