Support stroke survivors this Christmas .
Support survivors and their families this Christmas. Donate today.
“I felt like I was the only person in Australia
with a child who had suffered a stroke”
Dee Banks, mother of childhood stroke survivor Emma
When a stroke hits it can devastate whole families. But with your support, stroke survivors can receive the vital support they need.
You may have heard us mention them to you before – EnableMe, StrokeConnect, My Stroke Journey and our vital phone-line and advice service, called StrokeLine.
The tools, information, community and connection they offer can be the sound of hope itself! This is especially true for the families of childhood stroke survivors. Every year an estimated 500 children will suffer a stroke in Australia. And that impacts their parents, siblings, grandparents, school mates and teachers… One stroke impacts many lives.
When Dee Banks gave birth to her first daughter Emma, she was the picture of health. The paediatrician examined her and declared she was a happy, healthy baby girl. New parents Dee and Tawhai was besotted and soon the little family were settling into a new life at home.
Dee’s Story – mother of childhood stroke survivor Emma
But something wasn’t quite right. Emma hated tummy time, and struggle to grasp with her right hand and reach with her arm. And at 10 months she was only just beginning to commando crawl.
After a procession of medical appointments – GP, paediatricians, a physiotherapist, and finally a neurosurgeon – Emma finally received a diagnosis, she had suffered a massive stroke in utero. For Dee, the diagnosis was devastating, “I thought only older people had strokes, not babies in utero,” she says.
With no guide on childhood stroke available and a lack of awareness about childhood stroke in the community, Dee and her family were in constant fear about what the future held for Emma. In Dee’s own words fighting stroke has been “a series of tall rocky mountains that we continue to climb in order to give our daughter the best change of living a typical life”.
Your donation today will help bring the right support and care to children and families impacted by stroke this Christmas.
Kylie’s Story – mother of childhood stroke survivor Anika
For Kylie and her husband Kristian, the first few days of their baby daughters Anika’s life was traumatic. Not only did Kylie give birth via an emergency Caesarean section, but less than a day later Anika suffered a major stroke.
Kylie had noticed a small tic in Anika’s right hand but when she mentioned it to one of the midwives, it was dismissed as a new born quirk. But the next morning, while Kylie and Kristian were preparing to give Anika her first bath, her little body began to seize.
Anika was quickly put on oxygen as the seizure was making it hard for her to breath and rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Anika was hooked up to a Brainz machine for monitoring and over the next two days a raft of harrowing medical tests ensued, including a lumbar puncture and an MRI. During this time, new parents Kylie and Kristian were in the terrifying dark with no idea what was wrong with their baby.
Shortly after Anika’s MRI results came back, doctors broke the devastating news that Anika had suffered a massive stroke. However, this left the young family with even more questions and fewer answers.
Kylie recalls, “Other than the diagnosis of the Stroke we were given no real helpful information. We didn’t know what areas of the brain had been effected, what the possible or probable problems were that Anika would face only that the Stroke had damaged the majority of the left hand side of her brain.”
Stroke changes everything. For everyone. We must stop it harming families.
Your donations this Christmas can help support families like Anika’s through the ordeal of stroke.
Please donate today, so we can help families,
especially the families of childhood stroke survivors,
impacted by stroke this Christmas.