In 1987, the brilliant filmmaker Bonnie Klein (Not a Love Story, Speaking Our Peace), suffered a catastrophic stroke that left her paralyzed and on a respirator. Slow Dance is the candid, moving account of her fight back – relearning to swallow, to talk, to stand, and to adapt to life with a disability. An inspiring book with the pace of a thriller, it is also from first to last, a remarkable love story.
Every year, stroke hits nearly 50,000 Canadians; over 14,000 die. It is the number-one cause of serious adult neurological disability, the fourth most common cause of death. Bonnie’s story began when she became weak and nauseous after a summer day outdoors. When she also began to stagger and slur her speech, her husband Michael, a physician, raced her to hospital. Two weeks later, she suffered a second, nearly fatal, stroke.
Then 46, she spent seven months in hospital, and over two years in conventional and self-created rehabilitation. Michael stayed alongside her, acting as husband, doctor, nurse, advocate – even dancing partner, as Bonnie “graduated” from bed to wheelchair to walking with support. As soon as she could wield a pencil, she began to chronicle her recovery, and the tremendous adjustments she and her family have had to make in a world still largely ignorant of its disabled population. This is an unforgettable story of honesty, courage, and intelligence that is as gripping as it is informative and illuminating.