Helping Holli to communicate

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Holli Bryceland was just five years old when she suffered a stroke three years ago in 2014. Now eight, she lives in Carrum Downs with her family and attends school locally, recently winning a school award for honesty. As a result of the stroke Holli has aphasia, which causes damage to the parts of the brain controlling language. This means she has difficulty comprehending or formulating language, and Holli has had to re-learn to speak, read and write. At times it’s very difficult for Holli to keep up at school, as she often cannot find the words, and she speaks and reads at a much lower grade level than her peers.

The JMB Foundation has been able to fund speech therapy for Holli this year. It’s one-on-one therapy which gives Holli the much-needed individual support required to develop her language skills, and it’s making a big difference to her rehabilitation and well-being. Under the guidance of her speech pathologist Holli is now breaking words down and understanding the syntax of speech all over again. This specialist therapy has helped to reduce Holli’s frustration and build her confidence, which in turn makes her feel happier and more eager to learn again.

Holli also has a great love of animals, and contact with them has further aided her recovery. Holli’s mother Kristi says there has been notable improvement to Holli’s emotional and physical wellbeing following regular visits to the Melbourne Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary. But her real passion is dogs. “Her future is animals. I have no doubt,” Kristi says.

JMB Foundation funding has made a significant difference for Holli and her family. Kristi says Holli’s progress, together with the funding, has meant she can take a deep breath and finally look forward to her and Holli’s lives ahead. “Holli’s extraordinary in what she’s achieved in her life so far,” Kristi says.

JMB is delighted to be able to provide assistance for Holli and her family, and we thank our generous supporters for making this possible.