She’s back!

LANCASTER- Patricia Shaw received a round of applause Thursday as she made her way into the Hellenic Center in Lancaster for the announcement of the nominees for the 2011 Athena Awards.

“I just got out of the hospital a week ago, but actually, I’m happy,” Patricia said.

Patricia receives a hug from Zonta Club AV member Bonnie Barnard.

Patricia, accompanied by her husband Michael and family members, received hugs from several attendees as she made her way to her seat using the assistance of a cane. This was her first public appearance since suffering a stroke six weeks ago. On September 16th, Patricia was admitted to the Palmdale Regional Medical Center. With her right side impaired, she was unable to speak initially. After her stay at the hospital, Patricia was transferred to a rehabilitation center to undergo physical and speech therapy.

As the driving force behind numerous community organizations, including the League of Women Voters AV, the City Planning Commission, Palmdale Sheriff’s Boosters, Palmdale Woman’s Club, Kiwanis Club, and the AV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, news of Shaw’s stroke sparked an outpouring of well-wishes from several in the community.

Before her stroke, Patricia had been instrumental in coordinating the LWVAV’s centennial celebration of women’s right to vote in California. Due to her recovery, she was unable to attend the celebration on October 11th at Poncitlan Square. Still, several attendees signed a card at the event offering well wishes to Patricia for a speedy recovery.

Thursday, Patricia’s husband Michael said he was “dumbfounded” by all the support that she has received from the community since her stroke.

Patricia makes her way to her seat with the assistance of a cane.

“Ever since this has occurred I am just shocked by how much the community has reached out and told her how much they feel for her, how concerned they are, and all the support she has been given,” said Michael. “I was not expecting this.”

Patricia has been mostly confined to their home since she got out of the hospital, Michael said; but it was extremely important to Patricia that she attend Thursday’s event.

“Being able to deal with getting up and moving around and talking to people, that’s giving her confidence,” said Michael. “Now, everybody’s not focusing on ‘oh, is she going to fall,’ but focusing on ‘oh, she’s back!’”

Patricia said she felt she was about 80% back to normal and was confident that she would be 100% back by the first of the new year.

“My biggest problem now is words,” Patricia said, gesturing to the right side of her face, her words only slightly slurring.

Asked what message she wanted to send out to the community, Patricia said:

“I want people to know that when I take on a project, it will get finished.”