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After a stroke, a Colorado woman finds her voice

April 4, 2022

DENVER (KDVR) — A local woman suffered a severe stroke and lost the ability to speak. However, with hard work and perseverance, she regained her speech and is embarking on a new journey that involves talking in front of the camera.

In the blink of an eye, Lori Corken’s life changed. She went from being on top of the world to depending on others to communicate, but that didn’t stop her drive or ambition. She’s stepping in front of the lens and hosting an online video series.

Right now it’s lights, camera action for Corken, but three years ago things were very different.

“It was 2 o’clock in the afternoon and I went to say goodbye to a client on the phone and just babbled,” Corken recalled.

‘I don’t want anybody to feel that they failed’

On Oct. 11, 2019, Corken was dazed, lethargic and unable to communicate. She was having a stroke and rushed to the hospital, where she spent several days.“I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t talk,” Corken said. “In my mind, I didn’t know why I had the stroke, and I failed. I had children and a business. Who is going to take care of them?”

Lori Corken spent days in the hospital after suffering a stroke in 2019.

Corken provided FOX31 with a video of her laying in a hospital bed attempting to read children’s books aloud as her daughter sits next to her. In the video, Corken is struggling to form sentences and starts to cry.

Before the stroke, Corken was always on the go. The mother of two and owner of a real estate company, which involves a lot of talking, said she lived a fast-paced life and always took care of business. Although she couldn’t communicate in the hospital, Corken said she closed on three homes with the help of her son.

Fast forward three years and she is front and center, hosting Power of a Voice. In the online video series, Corken shares her story and interviews special guests who share theirs.

“I don’t want anybody to feel that they failed, and they don’t have a voice,” Corken said. “Hence, the power of a voice.”

Finding a voice after a stroke

Through losing hers, she found a new voice and vulnerability. Every other Tuesday, folks can catch a new episode of Power of the Voice. It’s available on major platforms.

FOX31 attended a live taping last week with DaVarryl Williamson, a well-known boxer, who’s being inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in May. Other guests include a woman who lost her son to suicide and started an organization, a man who started an investment company after dealing with tremendous hardship, and a woman coping with the loss of her son who was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

“I don’t know that I’ve bounced back, because I’m self-conscious and I can hear myself, but other people who watch me, I want to be a role model for standing up and having a voice,” Corken explained.

Although Corken’s speech is not where it was before the stroke, she beat the odds and said she will never take the ability to communicate or life for granted. She’s pushing forward with new adventures, all while inspiring men and women. However, she does have a big new dream.

“I’m going to be Oprah,” Corken hysterically laughed.

Each day, she continues to improve her speech by reading aloud and going to speech therapy.

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