My daughter suffered a stroke
A fathers story of a childhood stroke
I kissed her good bye as she got on the school bus on a cold November morning. I was food shopping when the nurse called from the school telling me that Chloe had a headache and was slurring her words. Chloe was a chronic complainer and I assumed she was playing sick so I finished with checkout and proceeded to the school to pick her up.
When I arrived at the school to my surprise there was an ambulance there and Chloe was on the stretcher. The nurse said to Chloe (look your dad is here). She responded by saying she did not know who I was. I was shocked. I asked what happened and the EMT said she had a seizure. I broke down and immediatly called my wife. I followed the ambulance to the hospital. While in the ER the doctor told me she had a seizure and they would monitor her for a few hours then we could take her home and follow up the next day with a epilepsy doctor. About two hours went by and Chloe continued to get worse. She was losing movement on her right side and her speech was getting worse. She did not know her name and was in and out of concinsoues. I asked the ER doctor if this was normal and he agreed that an MRI was needed. After she returned from the MRI the doctor immediately came in to her room and advised us that she suffered a stroke. I almost fell over. Just the thought that our child was having a stroke was almost too much to bare. What we did not know at that time was that the doctor was already in contact with a neurosurgeon in Westchester, NY that specialized in strokes. He advised they administer tPA immediately and that she be flown there to Westchester so they could follow up with tPA by vein right onto her clot. I had no idea what that was other then that the doctor said it would save her life. I signed the release and left to meet the chopper in Westchester. Upon arrival Chloe could no longer move anything on her right side and was almost in a coma. The doctor immediatly brought her into the ER. That was the longest hour of my life. She came out in a medically induced coma and remained there for 7 days. She had some bleeding and swelling and she was monitored closely. We were told that she would never walk and probably would not be able to speak again. She remained in the hospital for 2 weeks after the stroke then she was transferred to Blythedale children's hospital for 6 weeks of rehab. She made remarakble progress there. She learned to walk again and her speech is getting better every day. She has been home for 4 weeks now and is going to school and starting to regain alot of what she has lost. If not for the tPA she would not be where she is today.
I learned after some research that she is the youngest person in the country to have tPA by thrombosis right on the clot. I am writing to you in the hope of this story getting published for all ER doctors to see so maybe they will not ignore stroke symptons in children. If not for the ER doctors fast diagnosis Chloe would not be where she is today.