Stroke doesn't keep CV teen from pursuing her goal
By Jerry J. Herrmann, Special to the Review
A little help from my friends
Thirteen months after suffering a stroke, Monique Guillet, a senior at Chino Valley High School (CVHS), has made great strides toward getting on with her life.
Earlier this month the permanently disabled teenager was named the school's Student of the Week, and earlier this fall was one of the nominees for the 2008-2009 homecoming court.
Monique's mother, Sharyl Guillet of Paulden, said Monique suffered a stroke Oct. 16, 2007, in St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, while being treated for Arterio-Venous Malformation or AVM. AVM is a rare medical condition involving abnormal connections among blood vessels and arteries that can lead to undiscovered bleeding.
While she was born with the problem, doctor didn't discover it until she was 7 years old. Sharyl said Monique was suffering from tremors, so they took her to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where they found the AVM in her brain.
Because of its location, Sharyl said doctors can't remove it surgically. Instead, they use radiation treatments to shrink it.
Monique's stroke occurred after doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital tried to repair some of her blood vessels in the AVM.
After suffering the stroke, she was in a coma for 36 hours and the Intensive Care Unit for one week before spending the next three weeks in St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Services learning to walk and talk.
In addition to not being able to walk or talk very well, Monique permanently lost her short-term memory. "I thought we lived in Dewey and was going to school in Bradshaw Mountain High School," she said, instead of living in Paulden and going to CVHS. She also only has limited use of her right arm that has palsy. As a result, she had to learn to write with her left hand.
If that wasn't challenge enough, the stroke caused problems with her left eye that doctors hope more surgery can fix.
"She has made an incredible recovery. She has improved by leaps and bounds," Sharyl said. "Her surgical doctors are amazed by the recovery and progress she has made."
She added, "She gets up every day and does the best she can."
Monique said when she got home after the stroke and rehab she didn't know what to do because she had forgotten her routine.
She also faced another challenge, what to do about her schooling because her doctor said she couldn't go back to school for a year.
Working with the CVHS, its Special Education staff developed an Independent Education Plan for Monique.
Sherri Ryan, a speech therapist, one of her homebound schooling teachers, still helps works with her part of each day at school. "My goal is to be able to speak and know what I'm talking about," she said.
Another of her homebound schooling teachers was Diane Judge-Cox, who helped her with her chemistry and aquaculture classes. Even though she is no longer one of Monique's teachers, she still helps her with school projects.
One of her big problems is with the loss of her short-term memory; Monique lost all her math skills beyond third grade.
To remember what her teachers said, she uses a tape recorder. She also uses a planner to help her remember what she needs to do when. "I can also put reminders in my phone," Monique said.
If all goes well, Monique will be able to walk with her class in its graduation ceremony so her grandfather, Mike Guillet of Crystal, Minn. and other members of her family can watch. However, she doesn't expect to graduate until January 2009.
After graduation, Monique, who currently has a 3.75 grade point average, wants to attend Yavapai Community College and the University of Arizona in Tucson to major in languages. Ultimately, she wants to be a translator at the United Nations.
I got a question... If I don't go to a Christmas party... because no body (that is anybody) has invited me?
I have been invited by staff, but not the big guy....
ah well.... give me some idea.
Peace and Love,