Stories about: pediatric stroke

Michelle is moving ahead after experiencing a stroke

pediatric stroke

In fall of 2014, I was a senior, excited about finishing high school in New Hampshire and heading off to college. But I could never have guessed what the year would bring. I was an avid lacrosse player and competing in my fifth game of a tournament when I started to notice I was having trouble seeing out of my left eye. Soon, my hand felt weird and I couldn’t grip the stick properly. As I sat on the sidelines, onlookers recommended I be taken to a local hospital.

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Keeping up with Amanda: Life after brain surgery

Amanda LePage is now a happy 9-year-old.In most ways, Amanda LePage is just like any other rambunctious fourth grader. She loves school, dance class, playing basketball and keeping up with her twin sister Macy and older brother Nathan. Sometimes it just takes her a little longer to do these everyday things. That’s because Amanda has been through a lot in her short nine years.

Amanda was just 5 months old when she was brought by helicopter to Boston Children’s Hospital for a hemorrhage in her brain from an intracranial aneurysm, a type of vascular malformation. Despite long odds, Amanda survived two life-saving brain surgeries and a massive stroke that left her with cognitive delays, no use of her left arm or hand, and weakness in her left leg.

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Doctor-patient friendship helps make an upside-down world right

pediatric strokeSeven-year-old Jacob Downing has a list of caregivers as long as his “different” right arm.

On top on the list is a be-spectacled, bow-tie-wearing neurologist. Dr. Michael Rivkin is co-director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center and the first person Jacob remembers seeing after the emergency surgery he underwent following a stroke.

Jacob doesn’t remember the surgery to clear the blood clot that caused his stroke. “Dr. [Darren] Orbach worked a miracle for him,” says Jacob’s mother Nichole. Orbach is the neurointerventionalist who performed the endovascular thrombectomy procedure to break up the blood clot that caused his stroke.

“Like a lot of doctors at Boston Children’s, Dr. Rivkin talks directly to Jacob. Jacob knows he is trying to help him, and it shows,” says his father Justin.

And Jacob has needed a lot of help in the aftermath of his stroke. Initially, he seemed to quickly regain some of his lost skills.

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Pediatric stroke: developing a better understanding through research

chh_2780_300x250Today at 10 A.M. Children’s Hospital Boston will broadcast online a live neurosurgery operation where doctors will treat a young patient with a rare neurological condition called moyamoya disease. In addition to providing the virtual audience with an up close view of surgeons performing a cutting edge treatment developed at Children’s, a panel of experts will comment on the procedure offering insight to the treatment, the disease itself and other related topics.

One of the panel’s speakers will be Michael Rivkin, MD, director of the Cerebrovascular Disorders and Stroke program at Children’s Hospital Boston, who will discuss cerebrovascular diseases and stroke treatment at Children’s. While pediatric stroke is a very serious risk for patients with moymoya, these patients are not the only children who can experience a stroke. Many children are at risk and research on the causes and treatment of pediatric stroke is still a developing field in pediatrics.

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