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CS Professor's Stroke Leads to App That Helps Others Relearn Skills

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Mark Brodie, professor of computer science, Simpson College

Mark Brodie returned to the classroom in the fall of 2020 is back to teaching on a regular schedule.

Credit: Simpson College

Mark Brodie was sitting behind his laptop in his home office, grading student papers for a mobile applications class he taught at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Suddenly he couldn't get his thoughts in order. Everything on the screen and in his mind felt jumbled. He'd never experienced anything like this. He knew something was wrong. He was having a stroke.

Mark's next clear memory came three days later. His only physical issue was minor numbness in his right hand and leg. But he could not speak, spell, or type.

He was devastated. What kind of life would a computer science professor have if he couldn't give lectures or write programs?

A speech therapy app he used as part of his therapy triggered an idea for Brodie and his wife Carolyn, also a computer science professor. They used Brodie's experience to develop an app of their own. Their product simulates online banking as a way to help people with brain injuries relearn skills such as logging in, transferring money, and paying bills.

From American Heart Association
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