By: Sharon Aron Baron
Last November, eleven-year-old Lynn-sah Joseph was at school when she first complained of dizziness and a headache. When her symptoms continued at home, her father called 9-1-1.
Her condition deteriorated until she was paralyzed on her left side. “I didn’t want to believe that I had a stroke,” said Lynn-sah, a sixth grade student from Coral Springs. “Not at my age. I thought it happened to people who are older.”
Immediately following her diagnosis at Broward Health Medical Center, she had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot in the middle of her brain using a stent retriever, a device that is guided toward the blood clot through a major artery and the fine, mesh-like end of the device traps the blood clot. Six days after her surgery, her neurological test came back normal, except for some residual weakness in her left arm. After six weeks, Lynn-sah was ready to go back to school.
Interventional Neurologist Celso Agner MD said, “We don’t have a lot of treatment options for kids with stroke, especially someone Lynn-sah’s age. This could have been one of my own children. You take it to heart and it makes you think outside the box.”
Lynn-sah’s mother, Edgire Joseph, said she remembers being scared and shocked that day, especially when her daughter said she couldn’t feel her left side. The second shock was when she found out they didn’t have any stroke treatments for children. “Dr. Agner is the best and he saved my daughter’s life.”
According to the American Stroke Association, strokes are one of the top 10 causes of death in children. In children surviving a stroke, 50 to 80 percent will have permanent neurological deficit.
Lynn-sah’s early diagnosis led to a positive outcome that highlights the importance of timely stroke intervention.
Today, Lynn-sah is back to being a fun-loving, happy preteen. “I feel back the way I used to be – active, jumpy, I feel great!” she said. “When I grow up, I want to be a neurologist like Dr. Agner.”
Broward Health Medical Center is located at 1600 S Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316.