Sunday, May 1, 2011

are you aware?

May, is Pediatric Stroke Awareness month. Seems strange to put pediatric and stroke together in one sentence, doesn't it? I never even thought something like that could happen to a child or baby until it happened to mine. June 16th, 2007 was a day that changed my life forever. It was a happy day of course because my first baby was born! A handsome baby boy weighing 9lbs 6oz!! My labor and delivery was very long (over 24 hours), I won't go into details here because it was a terrifying experience. He was born blue and things quickly turned scary. 

My husband was in the nursery watching over our sweet baby when he noticed him having these very odd and consistent jerking motions. Luke (my husband) called to a nurse and she came over to check on what was happening. That is when all hell broke loose. Very quickly things went from happy to scared out of our minds with worry. Noah (our son) was rushed by helicopter to the Mayo Hospital in Rochester, MN. We arrived 2 hours later by car to see our little guy in the NICU with tubes and wires everywhere. 

Many stressful hours passed and days turned into long drawn out stretches of time that I can barely remember. What was wrong with him? Would he be ok? Did I do something wrong? It's hard to imagine these questions coming into your head after having a baby. I don't wish it on anyone. 

Test after test and we finally had some answers. Noah suffered a stroke during birth. What?! What were they talking about? A stroke?! Oh my god. We were devastated. 

The doctors couldn't tell us much other than...he may not walk properly, he may not use his arms or hands properly, he may not be able to understand simple directions. The outlook was really unknown. 

After a week in the hospital we were finally able to go home. Noah was put on Phenobarbitol to control the seizures and we were sent home to start our lives together. 

As, I sit here writing this Noah is going on 4 years old. He now has a baby sister (19 months old) and they are literally running/chasing each other and laughing hysterically! It's music to my ears! Times have been hard and he did suffer one major seizure when he was 6 months old, but since then he has been happy and healthy! He is off of seizure medications and is showing no signs of any issues. 

We are blessed. 

So many children and parents are not so lucky. Children and babies have died from complications of their strokes. Many can not walk properly, talk properly and some have cerebral palsy. I hope that by sharing Noah's story people around the world will talk about it and little by little we will raise awareness. 

Baby steps for those who can not make them on their own. 



Do you know the signs of a child who has had or is having a stroke? Do you know what to do if you think your child is having a stroke? Here is some information taken from The National Stroke Association website.

Children often have very similar symptoms to adults which include:
  • a severe headache is often the first complaint
  • speech difficulties
  • eye movement problems
  • numbness
Use the following tool to help you think F.A.S.T.:

FACEAsk the child to smile.
Does one side of the face droop? 
ARMSAsk the child to raise both arms.
Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECHAsk the child to repeat a simple sentence.
Are the words slurred?  Can the patient repeat the sentence correctly?
TIMEIf the child shows any of these symptoms, time is important. Call 911 or get to the hospital fast. Brain cells are dying.



  1. What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow!! Thanks so much for sharing! So glad that the little guy is doing well!

  3. I had no idea. What a precious little miracle Noah is!

  4. Such a scary experience for a brand new mom and dad, I never knew such a thing could happen. Thank you for posting your story, it is important to know. Thrilled to hear Noah is chasing is sister!

  5. Wow Vanessa. What an emotional story! So happy to hear it came with a happy ending! Blessings to your family!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this Vanessa. I had no idea - about your own story or that children suffered from strokes. It does seem strange to see pediatric and stroke side by side like that, and I thank you educating us about this. I'm so glad to hear that Noah and his baby sister are doing so well!

  7. I too have never heard of pediatric strokes so I'm glad you shared this story. I am so glad that Noah is healthy! xo

  8. Hugs to you and your family - so glad to hear your little boy is doing well and thank you for sharing with us!

  9. Noah is such a cutie. I had no idea a baby could have a stroke. So glad everything is going well! I'm guessing that you have your hands full with two little ones! :)



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