Saturday, May 5, 2012

Do you know the signs?

Today is Pediatric Stroke Awareness Day. A normal Saturday to most but for me it's a reminder that life is precious and every child is a miracle. It's been almost 5 years since Noah was born, 5 YEARS!! I can't believe that time has gone by so quickly.

Noah, my son, had a stroke during the delivery. It was a long and intense delivery and when he arrived he was blue. The cord was wrapped around his neck and he wasn't breathing. We were scared. After a few moments (what felt like an eternity) the nurses were able to get him breathing. His apgars were good but his breathing was fast and he was taken to the newborn intensive care area. I was only able to see him if I went down the hall, which was hard for me to do since the labor/delivery had been so hard, I was in a wheel chair for a week after he was born (he's lucky that big head of his is so darn cute)!

The day after Noah was born my husband noticed him making strange repetitive motions. The on-call Ped. Dr. was rushed in and before we knew it our world was turned upside down. Our little man was being air lifted to a Hospital in Rochester, MN that was better able to handle our "situation". To say we were terrified would be an understatement.

Noah, almost ready to go home. 
We spent a week at that hospital, I was unable to nurse him for almost that long because he was on a tube. He had wires and iv's all over him. I remember when the Dr. who had been working with us came in to finally give us some answers, that moment will never fade. He said to us, "Noah has suffered a stroke." after those words it was like I had left my body. What did he just say? I don't understand.

They told us he may never walk, may never speak correctly or understand directions. They just weren't sure of the outcome because babies brains are still rapidly developing.

We were sent home with anti-seizure medications and instructions to call if we needed anything.

Well that was almost 5 years ago now and that little baby has grown into an amazing little boy. He's had 1 serious seizure at about 6 months of age, but has been off his medications for about 3 1/2 - 4years now. He can walk, talk, run, play, understands directions and is the most caring child I've ever known.  We are blessed to have him in our lives and he has taught us so many things. He was one of the lucky ones.

Take a moment to learn the signs below and then hug your children. Life is too short not too. 
Information below taken from

Childhood stroke symptoms are similar to those of adult stroke:
  • a severe headache -- 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.


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