Did you know that stroke is one of the top ten causes of death in children? A stroke is when there is no blood supply, or not enough, going to the brain. Strokes are very common in children and young adults. It can be scary for the child/young adult, and horrifying for the family of the child as well. Strokes are caused by many reasons, such as blood disorders within the child, blood clots within the blood, and oxygen supply being cut off from the brain. I know this because I have been through this tragic event before.Strokes in children, as well as young adults, can leave them without many bodily functions. Some of these functions include: speech impairment, loss of function of one side of the body, vision, numbness in the limbs, or fingers, and headaches. A stroke can hospitalize a child/young adult or possibly result in death if not treated immediately. The parent(s) need to seek medical attention for their child as soon as possible if they have 2 or more of the symptoms of stroke. “Neuromotor impairment was evident in 62% of children with neonatal strokes, and in 70% of children with childhood strokes. Compared with control subjects, children with strokes exhibited worse attention, language, memory, and sensorimotor functions” (Kolk).A stroke can happen to any child/young adult of any sex, race, or age (Nicolaides). The parent(s) need to understand the signs and symptoms of a stroke to realize when their child/young adult is having one. The signs and symptoms of stroke is: headaches, seizures, speech impairment, numbness, no function at all of one side of the body, and vision impairment. These same signs and symptoms can sometimes be permanent. The child/young adult can lose their vision partially, as I did, or fully. They can lose function of their limbs, and they can lose their speech.There are two different kinds of strokes. There are ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. While they are both very different, they are both still very life threatening. With ischemic strokes, there are two different types. These two different types are thrombotic and embolic. Thrombotic strokes occur when diseased or damaged arteries are blocked off by a blood clot within the brain. Treatment of a thrombotic stroke is can include medications, or surgical removal of the clot itself. Embolic strokes are almost the same, but it is not in the brain, but somewhere else in the body. Treatment of an embolic stroke is medications, surgery, and seeing a specialized doctor after the procedure is finished. Ischemic strokes can usually be diagnosed with a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). As for hemorrhagic strokes, this event happens when there is bleeding inside the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes can also usually be diagnosed with an MRI. It does not matter the type of stroke, it cannot be self-diagnosed.Strokes have been known to not happen just once. The highest risk of a recurrence of another stroke is usually within about a month after the first one. Three percent of people who have just had a stroke, typically have another within the next thirty days. Then, another eleven percent will experience another within one year, and twenty-six percent of people will have recurrence of another stroke within five years. Most people think that strokes just come out of nowhere, but eighty percent of strokes are preventable.There are many ways to prevent a stroke from happening. Examples are: No unhealthy habits, such as smoking, healthy dieting, maintaining a good blood pressure, and making surethat your child/young adult is getting enough play time or exercise, because obesity is also a cause of pediatric stroke as well.Pediatric strokes can affect any child or young adult from ages 0-18 years of age. Research has shown that males within a certain age range are more likely to experience a stroke. “The odds for a male discharged with hemorrhagic stroke was 1.5 (CI: 1.35-1.68) and for ischemic stroke was 1.37 (CI: 1.24-1.51) compared with a female. The odds for males discharged with a stroke were greatest for ages 16 to 20 years and least for 4 years” (Lo, Stephens, Fernandez). So, what that means is, very young males up to the age of four and males that are in the range between sixteen and twenty are more likely to experience a hemorrhagic stroke. Just because a male is not in those age ranges, does not mean that a stoke can not occur. It is just more likely in those ranges.Now, talking about the younger side of the spectrum. Unfortunately, strokes can occur in infants as well, as young as newborns. The moments leading up to and after a mother’s delivery is the prime window for neonatal strokes. Although it may not be very common, it is still very possible. “Arterial ischemic stroke around the time of birth is recognized in about one in 4000 full-term infants, and may present with neurological and systemic signs in the newborn. (Nelson). Hereditary or acquired thrombophilia’s and environmental factors are risk factors for a perinatal stroke. As much as there is known about strokes, treatments, and preventions, it’s sad to say, there is little to no evidence on how to prevent or treat perinatal strokes.This was an easy topic for me to choose because I have had this happen to me before, not just once, but four times. I was fifteen the first time that it happened. I was in my mother’s family room, and I felt a sudden migraine and numbness takeover my body. I tried to get up, but I could not walk, and I called for her, but it was like I could not speak. I was scared because I had no idea what was going on. This sort of thing had never happened to me. I brushed it off as a migraine, laid down on the couch, and went to sleep. I woke around 45 minutes later, still with this migraine, but able to speak, I go to my mom to tell her what happened. She tells me that it is probably nothing, but she will take me to the doctor in the morning, just in case. So I go to my room, and go to bed.August 18th, 2015, I wake up and realize that I cannot see partially out of my left eye. Again, I brush it off, thinking it is just because of the migraine. My mother and I go to the doctor, and as I’m sitting in the waiting room, I can’t help wonder what is wrong with me. The nurse calls my name, and we head back to the room. She does all sorts of tests on me to figure why my sight has gone, and why my migraine won’t go away. The doctor comes in, and does a neurological exam on me, and the realization on his face was frightening. He tells us that I may have had a stroke, or I just have severe migraines, that I would have to go see my local Optometrist, Dr. Jordan, to have a field vision test done on my eyes to find what is the problem. We went that day to Dr. Jordan, and I did a series of tests. The very last test I did was the test that my physician had told me about earlier in the day. The field vision test took about one hour. I had to put my face into this contraption that looked like a big white globe, they gave me a button, and I had to click it every time I seen a dot in my peripheral vision. As you can guess, I did terrible. We were sat in a room, and were told to wait for Dr. Jordan to come in. Boy, did he have some news for me. He knocked, came in, and sat down. He told me that I had a stroke. I said, “Well, let’s just throw me a pity party”, jokingly. I had no idea that this man was being serious. He tells me that he isn’t joking, and that I need a MRI as soon as possible. His office schedules one for me that Friday.August 21st, 2015, my mother and I are at the hospital, shown to the MRI room, and I am instructed to put a hospital gown on and take off anything that is metal related. I lay on the MRI bed, thinking of what might happen next. The nurse asks me if I want music playing, or if I want to watch a movie, but all I really want is to find out what is wrong. Once the MRI was finished, the nurse told us that it was time to go to the ER. In the emergency room, we are put into a room, and the doctor comes in immediately to tell us what was on the MRI. I had not one, but two strokes. Doctors and nurses started coming in and out of the room, getting ready for me to be airlifted to the children’s hospital in Memphis called Le Bonheur. The nurses told me that I would be just fine by myself while I waited for my mom and dad to get there. Once I arrived, there wasn’t many people coming in and out. A nurse came to check on me every twenty minutes until my parents arrived to make sure I was okay. Once my parents got there is when everything fell into place. I was admitted and put in a room on the seventh floor of the hospital. It was late, so they told me to get some rest and they would start fresh the next morning.August 22nd, 2015 is when doctors were flooding into my room like cattle. Many doctors with specialties I cannot pronounce, or had even heard of. I remember the one specific intern for the Neuro-Ophthalmologist. He was very tall, wore glasses, rude, and rough with my eyes, but I understand now that he was just trying to figure out what was wrong. My Neurologist finally came in with Hematologist from St. Jude, and told me what was causing my strokes. I have a genetic blood disorder called “Factor 5 Leiden”. While I was at Le Bonheur, I had many nurses come to check on me, but the most specific that I can remember is Tracy Tidwell. She introduced herself, told me about Le Bonheur’s theater downstairs, and also told me about the support groups on my floor. She was very helpful during this very tragic event.August 25th, 2015 is when Le Bonheur discharged me. I have had two more strokes this past September 2017. I, of course, was sent back to Le Bonheur for a few days, and then sent back home with new medications to slow blood from clotting. I have daily headaches now, and my doctors do not know why. I cannot see from the peripheral of my left eye. I go to Memphis for follow ups every three months to make sure I’m doing okay.Pediatric Stroke is the top ten causes of death in children. Stroke is very common among children and young adults, and the signs and symptoms can sometimes be permanent if not treated immediately by a medical specialist. Staying away from the risk factors of a stroke can help prevent your child from having a stroke, or another stroke. Taking your child/young adult for their follow-up/check-ups will help you keep track of their process, no matter how long it’s been seen they have had a stroke. It is very important to take care of yourself. I have learned from experience. Pediatric strokes do not discriminate.