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12-Year-Old Suffers Rare Stroke

A 12-year-old's life was saved through the resourcefulness of his friends after he suffered a stroke. He underwent emergency catheterization at Schneider Children's
Date: 09.01.24 | Update: 14.01.24

A dramatic event took place last week at a school in Herzliya, when a 12-year-old boy, who was playing soccer with his friends during break at the school, held his head and began to lose consciousness. During the game, his friends noticed that he was confused and getting worse. Because all of them had kept the passwords of each others cellphones, they opened their friend's phone and notified his parents immediately as well as the staff in the school. Due to their alertness and resourcefulness, the child was rushed to Schneider Children's, a step that saved his life and prevented apparent potential complications and long-term consequences.

He was brought to the Emergency Medicine Department (ER) where he underwent an intensive examination and several tests. As he was confused and unable to speak, doctors realized something was amiss and transferred him to the Imaging Department to undergo a CT of his brain, which showed that he had suffered a hemorrhagic stroke due to a lesion in the main artery in the brain. The bleeding had led to a clot and other neurological symptoms typical of a stroke. The child was transferred to the Catheterization Lab where the clot was located and excised, and the tear repaired. Afterwards, he was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where he was treated with anti-coagulants. Currently, his condition is stable and improving.

The child's mother stated that "it is still difficult for us to internalize what happened. It is not simple when you have a healthy and active child and then such a nightmare occurs. We have not stopped crying for 4 days. From a normal routine, suddenly everything has changed. It was our luck that he was surrounded by good people who saved his life. From his friends who called for help, to the paramedic from MDA who decided to take him to Schneider, to the amazing treatment we have received at the hospital. Any delay in the minutes of his treatment could have ended in tragedy."

Prof. Rachel Straussberg, senior neurologist at Schneider Children's, noted that "the child was diagnosed with a stroke, a very rare occurrence for his age. He underwent a lengthy catheterization and was administered intravenous medications, and to our great joy, his life was saved. We still do not have the answers as to what caused the lesion in the vessels that led to the stroke, meanwhile he is doing well. The key message here is that whenever there is a case of paralysis, confusion or an inability to talk, MDA must be summoned immediately so that the person can be taken to the hospital. In such a case, the window of opportunity to provide treatment before irreversible damage occurs is very small, and the quicker treatment is rendered, the greater the chances of recovery and rehabilitation." 

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