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10 Year Old Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

When single mom Hayley Clark found her 10-year-old daughter collapsed on the bathroom floor, she never suspected that a stroke was the cause of her “healthy” daughter’s medical scare.

Gracie Whittick, 10, suffered a stroke on Sept. 26 as she was getting ready for school, her mom told South West News Service (SWNS), a British news agency.

"It was all completely out of the blue. There were no warning signs at all, she was fine before. She was getting ready for school and the next second she was on the floor,” she recalled.

"It happened in seconds. I thought she had fainted on the floor and I had to get her to come around. The right side of her face was drooping. She couldn’t lift her arms, move her arms or legs,” she continued, noting she immediately called an ambulance.

Doctors at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn in Norfolk, England, later told confirmed a blood clot on the left side of Gracie’s brain had caused the stroke. The young girl underwent a three-hour surgery to remove 96 percent of the clot. It’s unclear at this time what caused the clot.

"The whole thing is really surreal. Doctors still don't know why it happened; she had a heart scan and that has come back as normal,” she said.

The stroke impacted the right side of her body. The 10-year-old, who is right-handed, now has trouble using her right arm. She’s also struggling with memory issues. She began walking again recently, but tires quickly and will sometimes resort to a wheelchair, her mother said.

"She keeps getting really confused and she is getting frustrated with it all,” she said.

“The whole thing is really surreal. To me, a stroke is an old people thing. It isn’t something that happens to a healthy 10-year-old girl,” Clark added, noting Gracie enjoys dancing and gymnastics.

Though relatively uncommon, pediatric strokes can and do occur. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, pediatric stroke affects an estimated 12 in 100,000 children under the age of 18.  However, there may be more cases of pediatric stroke as it is “thought to be frequently undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” says a 2011 medical review on pediatric stroke.

Fox News
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Healthcare professionals can learn more about stroke, prevention and current standards of treatment with our online continuing education courses.

Stroke Continuing Education Package

Our two online continuing education Stroke courses in one easy to purchase bundle with a price savings. This combination of Stroke: An Introduction and Stroke Management: Advanced provides 5.5 contact hours of stroke continuing education. In 2003, The Joint Commission launched its Primary Stroke Center Certification Program. As of January, 2011, there are more than 800 certified primary stroke centers. The designation signifies that the hospitals meet requirements to provide emergency diagnostic and therapeutic services by a multidisciplinary team 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to patients with symptoms of acute stroke. Eight hours of annual stroke specific continuing education is required for the staff that comprise core stroke teams and emergency department staff is required to have knowledge of the stroke pathophysiology, presentation, assessment, diagnosis and treatment including thrombolytic therapy. Nurses on non-stroke units, where stroke patients are not routinely cared for, and ancillary staff should receive education related to recognition of stroke signs and symptoms and activation of the organization’s emergency response processes. This course package would be excellent for all healthcare providers, and will assist hospitals seeking both initial and renewal of primary stroke center certification.

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