Childhood Stroke

Life & Health

A parent’s greatest nightmare is not being able to help their child. Which is why one family wants other parents to know about childhood stroke.

One year ago, the christie family gathered around the dinner table when 10-year-old Neal started acting strangely.

Amish Christie, Neal’s father said, “Neal goes ‘mom, I don’t want to eat, I don’t feel good.’”

Twinkal Christie, Neal’s mother said, “Now it’s slurred speech is kicking in, we can’t figure out what he’s saying but he kept on saying ‘I’m numb, I’m numb.’”

They couldn’t believe what the 911 operator was telling them.

Twinkal Christie said, “She said to us that your son is having a stroke.”

Neal had an AV Fistula similar to AVM but without the tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.

Christopher Gegg, MD, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Nemours Children’s Hospital said, “We were able to stabilize neal and get him to the operating room quickly, to do a craniotomy, evacuate hemorrhage, and stop the bleeding.”

After being kept in a coma, ten days in the i-c-u, and rehab, neal was finally sent home after two months and two surgeries.

Neal Christie said, “I don’t need any more canes, I don’t need any assistance with walking, so that’s one thing that’s already improved. Another thing is putting on my brace by myself.”

Neal has even learned to play video games one-handed with his older sister and is improving every day.

Doctor Gegg wants other parents to know the symptoms to watch for: Sudden headaches, numbness, vision loss, or slurred speech.

Neal’s mom urges parents to, “To ask further questions, to asses, do they need to be seen by a doctor?” Twinkal Christie said.

Neal’s mom says he should regain 80 percent of his normal functioning with continued physical therapy.

Doctor Gegg says if kids show any signs of stroke, it is imperative to seek immediate medical attention.

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