Seattle Children's program battles pediatric stroke

Chances are, you think of older adults when you think about stroke, but it can also happen to children, newborns and even unborn babies.

Most people associate stroke with adults, but it can also happen to children, newborns, and even unborn babies.

At Seattle Children’s Hospital, young patients are getting help recovering pediatric stroke through the Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program.

Three-year-old Addison Hyatt and her mother, Kaysee Hyatt, are enjoying time outside, playing. Addison is recovering from prenatal stroke. Her play time has a serious note and doubles as rehabilitation too.

“She had had her stroke at birth. So we didn’t even get a diagnosis until she was seven months old. That was probably the worst thing we’ve ever heard as parents. She’s alive, and she’s doing great. But those words were huge. You don’t know how to respond to it,” said Kaysee.

Dr. Catherine Amile-Lefond is Head of the Pediatric Vascular Neurology Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where she and a team help parents and children in their recovery.

“Prenatal stroke is actually different than childhood stroke," Amile-Lefond said. "Parental stroke is remarkably common; about one in 2,500 to one in 3,000 children. You never want to ignore a parent who says my child isn’t doing what I think they should be doing."

Prenatal stroke is not like adult stroke. It can be undetected for months after a child’s birth.

“Many times they’ll say that they noticed early on that the child wasn’t using one side of their body as well as the other,” said Amile-Lefond.

Addison loves playing and learning, and she’s just starting pre-school.

We didn’t know if she would be using a walker or if her body would support her and she would be able to walk, and she’s running.

"I don’t have any expectations for Addison because I think she’s just going to blow me out of the water…. She is definitely rocking the recovery after stroke,” said Kaysee.

To help families of children who have experienced childhood stroke, Addison’s mother co-founded Pediatric Stroke Warriors an organization that provides support and information.

You can also read more about their story on the Seattle Children’s blog post.

Copyright 2016 KING


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