Voters' Choice Hero: David Moskowitz

“This Stroke Hero Award provides an opportunity to share my pediatric stroke story to a larger audience.  As a survivor, I feel a responsibility to share my story to as many people as possible to raise awareness for pediatric strokes. The more people my story reaches, the more parents, grandparents, siblings, teachers, coaches, and medical professionals will remember that seemingly healthy kids and teens have strokes.” – David Moskowitz

David Moskowitz was playing lacrosse at school when he noticed that the right side of his face was tingling. David and his teammates jokingly questioned if he could be having a stroke, but they didn’t believe it. David was a healthy, active 17-year-old. But it was no joke. 

In the emergency department, David easily passed various medical examinations. His parents questioned if David was having a stroke, but they were told it was very unlikely and he was sent home. David’s symptoms worsened, and during an MRI the next day, doctors realized he was experiencing a stroke caused by a brain bleed.

David was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital where he stayed for nearly a month fighting for his life. He lost complete mobility of the right side of his body; his left side was severely weakened and his vision was compromised. David was diagnosed with an inoperable arteriovenous malformation (AVM) from an unknown genetic disorder called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia. When David was stable enough to undergo radiosurgery, he did and was then moved onto the neuro trauma unit.

David's road to recovery had just begun. He went through months of grueling therapies, finally regaining his mobility, strength and vision. Shortly after leaving the hospital, David received his acceptance letter to the University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing. His dream of returning to the PICU to work with his nurses and help other critical kids was beginning.

Today, David is completing his BSN and nursing co-op in the same PICU, learning and working alongside some of the same nurses who helped save his life. David shares his stroke survivor story to remind the public that stroke can happen at any age, even in healthy kids and teens. He also reminds people about the importance of knowing F.A.S.T. (Face, Arms, Speech and Time) to recognize and react to the symptoms of stroke.