Parents and families of Australia's littlest stroke survivors will now have a road map to help navigate the often long and challenging journey of life after stroke.
To mark National Stroke Week (Aug 31 - Sept 6), Stroke Foundation has launched Our Family's Stroke Journey, an information pack specifically designed for paediatric stroke survivors.
Stroke Foundation National Manager StrokeConnect Jude Czerenkowski said she was thrilled this resource was now available for the first time.
"Up to 600 babies and children will have a stroke in Australia this year. Of those, most will suffer disabilities that can last a lifetime," Ms Czerenkowski said.
"Until now, many parents had been left to trawl the internet to find out what stroke means for their child's future because existing resources focused on the adult experience.
"Our Family's Stroke Journey aims to take this stress away by answering common questions about stroke, available treatments and rehabilitation to give children the best chance to thrive and live an independent life long-term."
Tony Peacock's daughter Georgia had a stroke in 2015 when she was 11 months old. Georgia lost all movement on her right side, but with hard work, determination and the support of her family and health professionals, Georgia is now at school and able to ride a bike on her own.
Tony said he would have found Our Family's Stroke Journey incredibly beneficial at the time because he and his wife Kim had no reference point or anybody to talk to who could relate to their experience.
"This resource provides examples of other families who have been through similar experiences," Tony said.
"These stories provide hope that good outcomes are possible at a time when everything feels overwhelming. It provides the comfort you are not alone.
"It is also a resource you can check back in on at different stages of rehabilitation, where needed."
Thanks to the generous support of Stroke Foundation donors Our Family's Stroke Journey has been developed with Little Stroke Warriors, a support group for parents, paediatric stroke health professionals and researchers across Australia.
Our Family's Stroke Journey will be distributed at children's hospitals across the country. It can also be obtained via Stroke Foundation's website www.strokefoundation.org.au
National Stroke Week is the Stroke Foundation's annual awareness campaign. More details here. You can support the campaign by sharing, retweeting or creating your own social media post on any platform. Social media pack here.
Childhood stroke statistics
- Stroke is among the top ten causes of death in childhood with the highest mortality in the first 12 months of life.
- The incidence (number of new cases per year) of childhood stroke is between 2-13 per 100,000 population.
- Approximately one third of all cases occur in children less than one year of age.
- 50-85 percent of survivors of stroke will be left with long term problems which may include seizures, physical disability, speech or learning difficulties.