AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Strokes are most often associated with the elderly, but even children can get them. In fact, stroke is one of the Top 10 causes of death in children. CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh met a young stroke survivor who’s just 15, but a fighter.
In the last two years Autumn Voldrich has amazed her doctors and inspired everyone she meets. She’s been working on her motor skills, gaining strength, rehabilitating both her body and her brain.
“I just remember sitting on my bed and complaining of this headache, this massive headache,” Autumn said.
“Within minutes she actually went into a seizure and became completely unresponsive,” Autumn’s mother Chris Voldrich said.
Chris called 911 and an astute paramedic had a suspicion.
“I think she’s having a stroke and ‘time is brain’ so we’ve got to get her out of here,” Chris said.
Autumn was airlifted to Children’s Hospital for emergency brain surgery to fix a ruptured aneurism. When neurologist Dr. Jennifer Armstrong Wells first saw her, Autumn was comatose.
“And when she finally did wake up she wasn’t able to move the right side of her body and she wasn’t able to speak at all,” Armstrong Wells said.
Autumn spent 4 months in Children’s Hospital relearning how to live.
“It turned out so much better than I ever anticipated. I thought she would have come home in a wheelchair,” Chris said.
The Autumn that Walsh met is sweet and quick to smile. She’s come a long way physically. But emotionally it’s still a struggle.
“It’s like, why did God put this on me? What did I do wrong?” Autumn said.
And Autumn shared her fear.
“I’m scared to go to sleep. Like I know I’m safe, but my body is afraid,” she said.
People tell Autumn she’s a miracle.
“She’s a normal kid. She had a brain injury. She worked hard, went through a lot, but she’s a normal kid,” Armstrong Wells said.
It’s really true — “Time is brain” with a stroke. Quick action saved Autumn’s life.