Originally published on October 16th on the American Heart Association Support Network blog.
No one expects to hear that their child has suffered a stroke. When a stroke diagnosis is given to an infant, child, or teenager, often the first thought is: “…but, wait, strokes only happen to the elderly. How can my child have had a stroke?” The first hours, days, and even months following that diagnosis can be overwhelming, confusing, and downright scary.
I should know. My son had three massive strokes at birth.
I’m now four years into my journey of parenting a perinatal stroke survivor. After a year of living in a pretty dark state of mind, I dusted myself off, dove into researching how to best care for my son, and have transformed myself into a confident caregiver of a child with special needs.
As part of my transformation, I’ve found myself helping other parents through this uncertain journey. When I’m approached by a family new to a pediatric stroke diagnosis, here’s what I tell them. Continue reading