In July 2005, Michele Mazzoni, had a stroke at age 54. At that time, she worked as a certified nursing assistant at Morristown Memorial Hospital in New Jersey. She lived on her own, as her beloved husband had passed away the year before, and all four of her children were grown. She was diagnosed with aphasia and dysarthria, making it very difficult for her to communicate verbally. Michele received some speech therapy, and she began using a communication device in 2006 to help her interact with others and convey her needs.