Sick Celebrities


Serene Branson's speech loss attributed to aphasia, not a stroke


Yesterday the internet was buzzing over the news that Serene Branson of KCBS-TV had suffered a stroke on camera. Distressing images were seen on TV as she lost the ability to speak, but nothing has yet been confirmed as to the cause of her motor neurone failure. No official report has been made but it is now thought that she did not suffer from a stroke.

She was set to report live on the Grammy awards, and despite starting brightly she was unable to form words and the broadcast was cut.

An on–the-scene paramedic examined Ms. Branson and gave her the all clear, stating that her vitals were regular and she displayed no signs of a stroke. She was taken home by a friend and reports today say she is feeling fine.

There is concern over her health though and Dr. Larry Goldstein of the Duke Stroke Centre, Durham N.C. said, “She appears to have aphasia; a problem with expressive language, and right-sided facial weakness. Although this can be caused by other conditions, it is very concerning for stroke.”

Aphasia is a degenerative illness that can occur due to damaged brain tissue around the areas responsible for language. It normally affects people after they’ve had a stroke or head trauma and is similar to the condition suffered by former boxers. It can also develop over time through brain tumours, infections or dementia.

The unfortunate Branson has been the butt of some incredibly cruel jokes and callous treatment by other web and social sites, as if suffering aphasia live on television wasn’t humiliating enough.

The general consensus, whether a stroke or not, is that Branson should have been taken to the hospital as a precaution and examined by doctors who are trained properly for the job, not dismissed as ‘ok’ by a glorified ambulance driver.

Share your thoughts about the incident by leaving a comment.

Read about other Grammy related matters such as Rihanna battling laryngitis, Aretha Franklin’s tribute, and Esperanza Spalding attacked by Bieber fans. Learn more about how singing can help stroke victims, and the robot that can help them regain mobility.


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