FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - A child's first taste of independence comes with school dances and less supervision while hanging out with friends after school. Twelve-year-old Isabella "Izzy" Chambers now depends on extra help doing what was once the mundane, such as walking.
"She has a gate belt on at all times. I grab on to this and she can stand up and with assistance," her mother, Stephanie Chambers said. "As far as letting her go, she's not there yet."
Izzy's family knew something wasn't right when she couldn't get back up, move the right side of her body, or even talk after she collapsed while walking up to her brother's little league game on March 13. They didn't know yet that she'd had a stroke.
"She was walking our dog and she just collapsed backward," Chambers said.
She was rushed to the hospital where the diagnosis came after four days of testing.
"One of the most common things we hear people [ask] is 'children get strokes," Dr. Bryan Philbrook, with Emory and the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said.
Dr. Philbrook said three to 25 children per 100,000 have a pediatric stroke every year. While they are rare, they do happen.
"It depends on what caused it that depends on how we treat it with medicines and sometimes surgical treatment," he said.
There are several causes some include genetics or traumatic injuries such as falling on one's head--even car accidents.
Izzy had no previous health concerns, but it took her 10 days after the stroke to start responding with one-word answers.
"When she started talking she hesitated to talk because she sounded different," her mother said.
Independence is on the back burner for Izzy now. She will be hospitalized for several more weeks and then begin extensive therapy for nearly two months or more, but Thursday, despite struggling to speak as clearly as she once did, Izzy had a message to her friends and family.
"Miss them," she said.
Thankfully Izzy can keep up with school from there, but doctors do consider cognitive impacts from a stroke.
Dr. Philbrook said parents who notice their child's face dropping or an inability to move aside of their body should seek immediate help.
The sooner doctors determine a cause of a stroke, the better they can figure out the likelihood of a second one.
To help Izzy and her family, click here.
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