Tales from the Heart: Stroke Knows No Age Limit
February 21st, 2012 - By Lari Robling
Caption: Jill C.’s daughter Andrea
Jill C. wants you to know that strokes can occur at any age — even before birth.
When her daughter, Andrea, was four months old they noticed she would grab her right hand and use it to teethe, as if it were an inanimate object. By six months it was confirmed through an MRI that Andrea had suffered a stroke in utero.
“The most difficult part,” says Jill C., “was when she was wearing a brace. We would go into a store and everyone would comment about her ‘boo boo’ thinking it was a broken arm. They couldn’t believe someone so young could be recovering from a stroke.”
So, Jill C. wants to get the word out that babies can have strokes. “It’s uncommon, but it happens,” she says. “A pediatric stroke is very different than one in an older person. The prognosis is better for one thing, but in some parts of the country even pediatricians are slow to recognize what’s going on.”
Thanks to CHOP Andrea was diagnosed early and is getting the therapies needed to develop her right side and control seizures. As a parent Jill C. says, “We learned to lean on family and friends and trust our faith. Andrea has shown us how much more we can do and how much better we can become.”
Today at age four she loves milkshakes and enjoys playing dolls, soccer, and riding her bike. And, Andrea gets a daily work-out keeping up with her older siblings who are seven year old triplets!
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