By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Sitting in front of her DynaVox voice synthesizer, Kate Atchue readily answers questions about her dog and cat beds and her work with charity. The touchscreen machine enables her to speak with clarity and charm. At age 9, Atchue suffered the stroke-like effects of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in her cerebellum, which rendered her unable to speak.
Following emergency surgery, she spent nine months in the hospital. Now 25, she lives in Westborough with her parents Bruce and Joan who have lived there for 30 years.
Having first learned through vigorous therapy and at the Cotting School in Lexington to function again despite her condition, she continued her therapy at home and learned to use a sewing machine. She soon established Katie’s Creative Pillows and Pet Beds after visiting Buddy Dog in Sudbury. Involved in the crafts community, she attends a holiday craft fair each winter year with her work products.
Along the way Atchue was determined to give something back. She now attends and contributes to the Walk and Roll event to support the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts. The event last year raised over $36,000 in donations. In addition, she
participated in “Katie’s Angels” which raised an additional $4,000 last year.
Atchue advertises primarily through word of mouth. She makes both cat and dog beds and accommodates dog beds in sizes small, medium, large and very large. She can be contacted by email at [email protected].