Medical Minute 12-29: Stroke in Children

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

With nine kids, Melanie and Orlando Brown thought they were prepared for just about anything, then last may, something happened to 9-year-old Marlan.

"Actually, my brain got hurt," said Marlan Brown. "I couldn't talk or anything. I couldn't walk."

"You could tell he was scared, frightened, and I would be too. You know you have this normal day one day, all of a sudden, and then it's like you can't use your arm, you can hardly speak you can't even communicate," said Orlando Brown.

At the hospital, an unbelievable diagnosis. Marlan had suffered a stroke.

"I was stunned," said Melanie Brown.

"Nine year old having a stroke, it's like, never heard of it in my life!" said Orlando Brown.

"What it was about to happen to him?" said Melanie Brown.

Imaging revealed narrowed cerebral arteries in both sides of Marlan's brain. It's a syndrome called Moya Moya, Japanese for puffs of smoke, a phrase used to describe abnormal clusters of tiny vessels that develop in the brain.

"The part of the brain that was affected in Marlan was the frontal lobe, and that controls movement and speech," said Philipp Aldana, M.D., Pediatric Neurosurgeon.

Surgeons performed a complex procedure called anastamosis. Using an artery from another part of the brain, they created a direct bypass around the narrowed artery to restore healthy blood flow and prevent another stroke.

"I do believe in miracles, I do. My son is living proof," said Orlando Brown.

Now, Marlan's back to doing what he likes best, working with his hands, creating little people out of clay.

"You make the arms, then you make the head, then you're done," said Marlan Brown.

Now, for this little man, the only limit is his imagination.


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