Kate Adamson, MSW shares her knowledge and experience regarding Locked-in Syndrome for individuals suffering from the condition. She is the voice for your voiceless client. She is also an advocate for caregivers and families. Kate was a critically ill hospital patient, unable to communicate, but fully aware of the work going on around her, after suffering a massive double brain stem stroke in 1995. She suffered from Locked-in Syndrome (total paralysis), and spent years learning, teaching others, and speaking about Locked-in Syndrome, the experience of being locked-in, and the involvement of caregivers and family in that process. Her journey has been chronicled in the book, Paralyzed but not Powerless.

Kate has testified before the United States Congress on behalf of the American Heart Association for increased funding on stroke and heart research. She has served as a national spokesperson for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Kate has served on the Optimize Participation through Technology OPTT-RERC Advisory Board for successful aging, and the University of Southern California (USC) Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Board of Counselors. She is also a former board member of the Stroke Association of Southern California. Kate has given expert testimony in other cases regarding Locked-in Syndrome by way of deposition testimony in the state courts of Colorado and South Carolina. To prepare for testimony, she does real time visitations and evaluations of the patient in the hospital or skilled nursing facility.

Her disability provides unique and valuable testimony regarding issues such as pain and awareness in the apparently comatose patient. She testifies with the voice of experience how it feels to be in a state of total paralysis. Kate is able to speak to what it is like to exist with Locked-in Syndrome, when you can hear, feel, and sense in other ways, while experiencing the helplessness of being unable to communicate or affect your situation. In this state, one is conscious of circumstances, but unable to act or participate in one’s own fate. It is like living in a glass coffin.

Kate has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services, and a Master of Social Work from California State University Long Beach.

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