Originally posted on NJ.com

While in the recovery room after her heart surgery 12 years ago, Nancy Mamis-King of West Orange suffered a stroke.  She was not able to speak, write, or read for four months afterwards.

“I had no communication at all,” she said in a recent interview.

During her stay in the hospital, her grandson came to visit one day and played a song on the piano in the lounge.  “The song was, ‘You Are My Sunshine,'” Mamis-King said.  “It was a song I had taught him.  I said, ‘You are my sunshine,” and then I surprised myself by being able to sing the entire song.”

Her husband, John King, was amazed.  “It was the first sentence she’s ever put together after the stroke,” he said.  “Even though she had worked with a speech therapist at the hospital, Nancy could just say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’  It wasn’t until her grandson sang to her that she was able to speak again. She got a big smile on her face and I remember feeling very hopeful that her brain was still intact.”…

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