Pediatric Stroke Awareness Heroes – Senator Blumenthal and Patch’s Family

When Patch was 9 months old, his parents discovered that he’d had a stroke before he was born. Patch was just a baby and he needed therapy to help him learn many of the essential developmental milestones like eating, rolling over, sitting up, walking, talking, and using his left hand and fingers. Patch’s parents took him to physical, occupational, and speech therapy until one day, their private insurance company decided that it was no longer going to pay for therapy. Patch’s family spent hours on the phone and sent multiple letters attempting to have their insurance company reinstate the the therapy coverage. Their efforts were not successful, so Patch’s parents contacted the office of U. S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut for assistance in convincing the insurance company that these therapies were a very important part of Patch’s recovery from his perinatal stroke.

With Senator Blumentahl’s assistance and letters from Patch’s doctors and therapists, the insurance company reversed their decision and allowed coverage of Patch’s much needed physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Senator Blumenthal didn’t stop there. Upon hearing other stories about pediatric stroke survivors in Connecticut, Senator Blumenthal introduced a United States Senate resolution to raise awareness for children who have had strokes. The resolution passed the Senate with Unanimous Consent.

The Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association recognizes U. S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Patch’s family as CHASA Pediatric Stroke Awareness Heroes. We are grateful for Senator Blumenthal’s excellent efforts in helping reinstate insurance coverage of therapies for Patch. Special thanks to Patch and his family for sharing their story with other families who may be experiencing the continual struggle of convincing insurance companies that childhood and infant stroke survivors are not the same as adult stroke survivors and that insurance coverage should continue to be available to these little stroke survivors. This is not a situation where an incident happens and only a few months of medical therapy are needed to regain lost skills that the adult had prior to the stroke. Babies who’ve experienced a stroke need early intervention therapies to learn, for the very first time,  those very basic needs of eating, walking, and talking. And it doesn’t stop there. As childhood stroke survivors grow, they continue to need therapy to address the issues that arise when their bones grow and muscles that are spastic (tight) from the stroke cannot keep up with the bone growth.  If this condition is not addressed through physical and occupational therapy, the child may not be able to continue to use his or her hand and arm, resulting in a lifetime of medical, social, and work place issues.

Meet Patch’s family and hear from Senator Blumenthal in the video.

A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate with respect to childhood stroke and recognizing May as “National Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month”.