Model Eva Marcille arrives at Fashion’s Night Out 2012 at Beverly Center on September 6, 2012 in Los Angeles

*Model/actress Eva Marcille has been crying “tears of joy” after her father spoke her name for the first time since suffering a serious stroke last year.

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In Sister 2 Sister magazine, the “America’s Next Top Model” champ reveals her family has been reeling from her 60-year-old dad’s illness, which left him battling language impairment aphasia. His recovery has been slow, but  he recently made a breakthrough in his speech struggles.

“He’s getting better. My father had a stroke a year ago, and he’s an extremely healthy guy, so the stroke hit us all by storm,” Eva told Sister 2 Sister. “It came out of nowhere. He had a massive stroke with full aphasia, and it impairs your speech and ability to communicate but not your intellect. So that’s where my dad is now.

“The physical recovery has been amazing. He’s mobile, but his ability to communicate isn’t there. So just the other day I remember my mother and I just cried so many tears of joy because my father said my name for the first time in almost a year and a half… It’s hard for him to get it (the words) out of his head. That’s what aphasia is, so that’s what we’ve been battling with.”