Three-year-old girl had a stroke – because of chicken pox

A toddler suffered a devastating stroke on a family holiday because of the chicken pox.

Three-year-old Lottie Evans started becoming clumsy and collapsed, unable to walk, after a nap while at a caravan park in North Wales.

Her parents rushed Lottie, from Warrington, to hospital where they discovered chicken pox had caused an artery in her neck to narrow and she had suffered a stroke.



Lottie Evans, from Warrington, suffered a stroke aged three because of the chicken pox virus while on holiday in North Wales

Doctors then gave the family the devastating news that Lottie may never walk or talk again, reports Cheshire Live .

 

Lottie’s mum, Claire Marriott said: “At the time we didn’t think it was a stroke because most people don’t think that children can have strokes.

“We asked if she would recover and they told us that she probably wouldn’t, which was devastating.

“Lottie could not walk or speak and had lost the use of the whole of her right side.

“We were told that the doctors (at Ysbyty Gwynedd) had only ever known about one case where the person fully recovered.”

What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?

These are the signs to look out for according to the Stroke Association.

  • Face: Can the person smile? Has their face fallen on one side?
  • Arms: Can the person raise both arms and keep them there?
  • Speech problems: Can the person speak clearly and understand what you say? Is their speech slurred?
  • Time: If you see any of these three signs, it’s time to call 999.

There is no way of knowing if symptoms will pass or get better when they first start, so you need to seek immediate medical help. A stroke is a medical emergency. Always dial 999. The quicker the person arrives at a specialist stroke unit, the quicker they will receive appropriate treatment.

Other symptoms of stroke

The FAST test helps to spot the three most common symptoms of stroke. But there are other signs that you should always take seriously. These include:

  • sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, including legs, hands or feet.
  • difficulty finding words or speaking in clear sentences.
  • sudden blurred vision or loss of sight in one or both eyes.
  • sudden memory loss or confusion, and dizziness; or a sudden fall.
  • a sudden, severe headache.

If you spot any of these signs of a stroke, don’t wait. Call 999 straight away.

 

The family say there were few signs Lottie was ill and only noticed her becoming clumsier than usual, dropping four drinks, slipping off chairs and becoming irritable and quiet.

Thinking she was just grumpy because of tiredness, her parents put her down for a nap but when she woke up and collapsed to the floor her family knew something was seriously wrong.

 

After several CT scans revealed Lottie was suffering from a stroke she was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for specialist treatment in 2016.

After two weeks of being an inpatient, Lottie’s parents were told that she should make a full recovery within two years.

Read More

Health warnings

Claire added: “At that point, we were given a ray of light. Lottie had so many tests during her time at Alder Hey but she improved every day.

“Doctors believe the stroke was caused by chicken pox, which had narrowed an artery in Lottie’s neck when she had the virus three months earlier.”

 

Now aged five, Lottie is close to making a full recovery after lots of support with physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy.

However she suffered a setback when she had another stroke in January 2018.



Lottie has had two strokes since she was three

How to do the stroke FAST test


Video Loading

Video Unavailable

Her parents have now set up a charity Lottie’s Way , to raise awareness of childhood stroke.

Claire said: “Despite everything that has happened we consider ourselves blessed, many parents don’t get to take their children home from hospital after a paediatric stroke and tragically around the world stroke is currently one of the top 10 causes of death in children.

“As a parent and being faced with uncertainty of what the future will hold and many questions I turned to Google for some support – what I found is that there is no UK support groups currently available for children and so I have found myself with many questions still unanswered.”

Last month, Lottie was commended for her courage after being nominated for a Life After Stroke Award.

Chris Larkin, director for the Stroke Association in the north, said: “A stroke happens in an instant and often changes lives forever.

“Our regional event highlights the tremendous courage people like Lottie have shown in rebuilding their lives after a stroke, or in helping others to do the same.”

For more information about Lottie’s Way,  click here  or  www.stroke.org.uk

Read More

Top news stories