“It was my seventh birthday party. But I got a pain on the right side of my head. I couldn’t cry because I lost my voice.”

Max had a stroke at his seventh birthday party in 2016: “I remember going there in the car and I saw the cake. We were going to have hot dogs too. But I got a pain on the right side of my head – my brain fell out. I felt sad and frightened but I couldn’t cry because I lost my voice. I didn’t get any birthday cake.” 

Max was in hospital for a total of six months, including three months for rehabilitation. “Before my stroke, my favourite subject used to be outdoor PE. But I can’t use my hands for lots of things now. I can’t play basketball with my friends. I hope I’ll get better and hopefully some of these fingers might work again.”

Max’s mum Michelle says his mobility was most affected. “He has all over weakness on his left side and no movement in his left hand and foot. He’s broken his left arm five times since his stroke due to falls.”

Together, Max and his family are rebuilding their lives after stroke. Michelle says: “I spent hours on the Stroke Association website and got loads of information. We also received a Life After Stroke Grant to help pay for a trike for Max, because he can’t ride a bike anymore.”

A stroke can happen at any age. There are over 400 childhood strokes a year in the UK, affecting babies, children and young people. Our childhood stroke information, resources and events provide support to children, families and professionals.

Our Rebuilding Lives campaign

Max features in our Rebuilding Lives campaign. Find out more about the campaign and watch the film here.

Recovery is tough, but with the right specialist support and a ton of courage and determination, the brain can adapt. Our specialist support, research and campaigning are only possible with the courage and determination of the stroke community.

Find out about the support available, sign up to hear how you can get involved, or make a donation to help us rebuild more lives.