'I can read my daughter a story' - how hospital worker conquered stutter
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
A hospital worker who achieved his dream of reading stories to his daughter after conquering his stutter is reaching out to help others.
Piotr Prasalek, from Bury St Edmunds, endured a stammer for 20 years before going on a four-day course in 2015 to try and overcome the condition - and it changed his life.
The 34-year-old has now reached out on social media to pass on what he's learned to anyone with a stutter in Bury and the surrounding area.
Mr Prasalek had been hiding in factory and warehouse jobs where he didn't have to speak to anybody, but now works in an administrative role at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.
His and his wife Ewa's wedding day - the year before he attended the McGuire Programme in London - proved to be the catalyst for change, as his stutter meant he struggled through his vows.
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He added: "And we wanted to have a child. I wanted to be able to read stories to my child and talk to my child.
"That was the time to sort myself out really and have a happy life and not live in constant stress and frustration because of the stutter.
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"It does [overcoming it] make you speak better, but also makes you psychologically better."
He added: "I have worked in the hospital for the last five years. I work in an office. I use the telephone and meet other staff members and I have to talk to people - something I couldn't do before. So I have a good job and good life, really."
Mr Prasalek and his wife now have a daughter, Liliana, who is nearly four, and he spoke of the joy of reading her stories.
He described his life as "vastly improved" - a far cry from the days when he was unable to go for a job interview because of his stammer.
"You don't have to think about what you can say or cannot say," he said. "You can say what you want. It's much easier and a more peaceful life."
Mr Prasalek, whose dad also had a stammer, wants to share what he's learned and help others overcome their stutters, at no charge. He suggested video calls due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "I know how difficult life with a stutter is and now I know what to do to help myself and I wanted to help others."
He said he has "good days and bad days" with the condition, as the course was no cure, but he has the techniques to recover quickly from those worse days that can be brought on when he's tired.
To get in contact with Mr Prasalek, email email@example.com
He can also be found on Facebook.