Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Stroke Social

We went to lunch today with a 32 year old woman who had a stroke shortly after birth and her husband.  It was great to see someone who grew up as a stroke survivor and became a strong, articulate, and happy adult.
After lunch, we all went to a pediatric stroke awareness picnic.  There were about a dozen families there with kids of all ages.  Allie was the youngest.  The next youngest was Jameson, a 20 month old boy.  Allie LOVED Jameson.  She happily stood next to his stroller, smiling, and chatting.  She kept touching Jameson's hair and touching his toes.  She really enjoyed him.  He didn't really mind her but he wasn't as head over heals as she was.  Check out some pictures of Allie and Jameson to the left.  The body language says it all, doesn't it?
There was another girl, Alia, who is almost 12 years old and really liked Allie.  She kept bringing food for Allie to sample.  Allie liked the sea salt chips the best, but she got to sample all the cheese, cookies, breads, and fruits.  Alia asked is she could babysit Allie when she is a little older.  I agreed.

It was amazing to see the variety to the extent that the kids were affected by their stroke.  There was one boy who was so high functioning that I never would have know that he had a stroke.  Most of the kids showed some visible sign of their stroke, which is not surprising, but I guess that I somehow hoped that all the kids would make near-full recoveries.  Still, these kids have made tremendous progress and it gave me a lot of hope for the future.
One thing that surprised me was that almost all of the kids seemed completely cognitively with it.  They were totally normal kids with a weak hand.  That doesn't seem so bad.

Another thing that Jonathan and I weren't expecting was to fall in love with the idea of cheer leading.  There were two girls, one 12 and one 6, who both do competitive cheer leading and their parents raved about how it was better physical therapy than "real" physical therapy.  Plus, it gave them a chance to be social and physical.  The 12 year old was doing cart wheels and showing off her crazy gymnastics skills.  Allie is so doing cheer leading... GOOOOOOOOO ALLIE! 

We heard some other stories about kids that didn't come to the picnic this year.  One of them couldn't make it to the picnic because she was off at college at an Ivy League school.  Not too shabby.

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