I was told to say goodbye to my son, 14, after a stroke left him fighting for his life
A 14-year-old boy has to learn to walk again after a severe headache turned into a stroke.
Stephen Gaskin was at home with his grandmother while his mother Katie Gaskin was at work.
The 34-year-old said her mother called her to say Stephen was complaining of a headache and was throwing up several times.
Katie, from Herne Bay, Kent, rushed home in September to find her son unconscious and barely breathing.
The mother-of-four was six months pregnant at the time and said it was a “huge shock” to find her teenage son in such poor condition.
Unfortunately, Stephen had suffered a stroke that left him fighting for his life.
He was placed in a medically induced coma and flown to King’s College Hospital, where it was discovered he had a “massive blood clot” in his brain.
Katie said: “It was the worst day of my life.
“It was all very overwhelming – at one point we were told to say goodbye to Stephen,” the mother told KentOnline.
Medics said the stroke was bought by arteriovenous malformation (AVM).
The rare neurological condition means sufferers have veins and arteries that have become knotted in the brain.
It’s rare, occurring in less than one percent of the population, according to the NHS.
Now Stephen has had surgery to prevent another stroke, but his mother says the effects of AVM will stay with him forever.
Stephen had to see both specialists in London and Surrey, with his mother often making 140-mile round-trip trips to visit medical centers with her son.
You must know the symptoms of AVM
In about 15 per cent of cases, AVMs cause no symptoms and are found incidentally, according to the NHS.
However, there are some signs that are common in those who are diagnosed with the condition:
- seizures: about 20 percent of cases are discovered because the patient is having a seizure
- bleeding: more than 50 percent of AVMs are found after a bleed. Signs include a sudden onset of severe headaches, often with nausea, vomiting, neurological problems, or a loss of consciousness
- Headache: Headaches can be caused by the high blood flow through the AVM
- dashes: Brain AVMs can cause stroke-like symptoms by depriving nearby brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients
Currently Stephen’s right side of his body is not working and he needs to learn to walk and speak again.
“He also has paralysis on the right side of his face – his right eye doesn’t close properly and he sees double. Mentally he can’t keep things in his head and needs to have things explained to him.”
Katie praised her son and said he made it “amazing”.
Due to the nature of Stephen’s illness, Katie has had to quit her job as a caregiver.
She started a GoFundMe page to pay for car rides and parking at the hospital.
https://www.the-sun.com/health/7290553/told-say-goodbye-son-strok-fighting-life/ I was told to say goodbye to my son, 14, after a stroke left him fighting for his life