Claire was born April 20, 2009. No complications, a very easy pregnancy and planned c section delivery. Claire arrived at 11:58 am weighing 7lbs, 5 oz. and a length of 19 inches.
The first several months of Claire's life seemed very typical until about 4 months. Michelle and Richard noticed that she did not use her right arm or hand to play with toys. This was mentioned at her well check visits, but they were told to wait and see. Because Michelle is a over cautious pediatric occupational therapist, she knew that there was a problem and feared it was a stroke. Next stop... was Dr. Miriam Weinstein a well known physiatrist for the MRI order.
On November 10, 2009, at 6 months old, Claire underwent an MRI and neurology appointment with Dr. Anna Kosentka, the test revealed a massive Middle Cerebral Artery occlusion. The stroke occurred in her Left Hemisphere Parietal and Temporal Lobe, causing her to not use and neglect her right side. Luckily, Claire's right arm is mostly affected, although she has a weak right leg that needs a brace and must be stretched 3-4 times daily. She lacks balance and coordination and is overall developmentally delayed. Claire has a large seizure risk though to this date she has not had any.
Claire has seen a variety of specialist to find out why..... Dr. Malik, a hematologist at Children's Hospital, discovered that she was born with two gene mutations, MTHFR and Factor V Leiden, both of which cause increased blood clotting. This lead to her stroke. These are both very common clotting disorders....1 in 20 people have them but never know because doctors don't test until a blood clot occurs. Claire will be on aspirin therapy until she is at the age that she can tolerate Coumadin....for her entire life.
Dr. Bremmer, a cardiologist cleared her of any heart defects, which are typically related in strokes. She is overseeing Claire's aspirin therapy because she is familiar with prescribing aspirin to many babies with heart problems.
Three specialist have stated that if Claire was an adult with this stroke she wouldn't have survived this and we consider her right arm a blessing. The scary thing is the future, children with strokes typically have severe learning disabilities and seizures.
Currently, Claire is in weekly physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Take a moment and think of everything you do daily that involves two hands.