“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.”
Childhood stroke can happen at any age; affecting babies (including in the womb), children and young people. More than 400 children are diagnosed with strokes every year in the UK.