February 21st. It’s the day that changed our lives forever. I can still remember the phone call I received from the doctor’s office – the nurse telling me that the pediatric neurologist had reviewed the results of our son Evan’s MRI and wanted to speak to me and my husband. I still tear up when I think about the doctor telling us that Evan, who had just turned seven months old, had suffered a stroke. He threw out words like left middle cerebral peduncle, perinatal infarction, cerebral palsy, hemiplegia. All I could think about was my beautiful, sweet little boy and the journey that we were about to embark on as a family.
The next several months were filled with therapy sessions, doctor’s visits, lots of explaining Evan’s diagnosis to friends and family, some denial, and lots of wallowing in self-pity. Then, during one of our doctor’s visits, one of Evan’s neurologists asked us something that changed my outlook on our situation. He said, “I’m sure you’ve talked a lot about what is wrong with Evan, but tell me what is great about him.” At that moment, I realized that the doctor was had a point, we did focus on what was wrong with Evan and not on what was great about him. Evan was hilarious. He was tolerant. He was a great snuggler and much much more.
Fast forward four years. Evan is almost five, and he is doing incredibly well. And, he is still hilarious, tolerant, and a great snuggler. He is also outgoing, persistent, really smart, hardworking, the class clown, and much much more.
To honor Evan, who continues to amaze us every day, my streak for pediatric stroke month is to write one great thing about Evan each day. So, today – May 1st – Evan works hard! Clearly, he has been through a lot – MRI and CAT scans; hours and hours of PT, OT, and ST; countless fittings for AFOs and braces; doctor’s appointments galore; and two sessions (five weeks) of constraint therapy – but he still wakes up every day ready, willing, and able to conquer the world. – Julie Ring, Evan’s Mom
Evan’s sister, Olivia, is Streaking for Pediatric Stroke. Read seven year old Olivia’s blog.