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 None of the stories or pictures on these pages may be used without the express written permission of the Pediatric Stroke Network and/or the parents of these children. These stories are copyrighted by the intellectual property law. All stories are original submissions written by parents.


Ashley's Story


    I was pregnant with my fourth baby.  It was a better pregnancy than my last, easier somehow.  But I always felt like something was not quite right with this baby.  When I was 32 1/2 weeks along I felt the baby do something odd inside of me.  Then all movement ceased.  I tried everything I knew to make the baby move, eating sugar, laying on my side, even poking my belly but there was nothing.  I called my OB and she had me come in.  While she was examining me I asked her if a baby could have a seizure inside the womb because I had a feeling that the baby had had one.  She said yes, but it was rare.  She found the baby's heart beat but also said the baby seemed very quiet and wanted me to go to the hospital for a more extensive ultra sound exam.

    My husband and I could tell from watching the screen that something was wrong with our baby.  Her score was very low and as they wheeled me back to the room my OB's partner came around the corner yelling "Take her back!  Her baby is dying and I want to know why!"  Then she told me that if she had to deliver this baby tonight to save it's life that she would.  Needless to say, I do think she could have used a bit more tact.  My father and my husband gave me a priesthood blessing and I felt peace.  To make a long story short, Ashley Rose was born by emergency c-section October 6, 1998.

    She had to be resuscitated at birth and was fed by gastro-nasal tube  for a few weeks till she had the strength to suck on her own, but otherwise they told me that she appeared to be fine. I pumped breast milk for her every feeding.   I was kept in the hospital for ten days because I developed a post operative infection.  When I was discharged it was very hard to leave with empty arms.  Ashley Rose came home a few weeks later, still so tiny.

    I was not allowed to take Ashley out in public for fear of RSV.  So we kept close to home for the most part and went to Children's Hospital for respiratory treatments once a month.  She continued to grow and gain weight but  I just had the feeling that something was not right with her.

    At her three month check up I told my pediatrician about her odd behavior and that it seemed she never used her right hand.  She scheduled an EEG.  The results were abnormal.  We then saw a neurologist who scheduled an MRI.  I had the MRI films for one week before out next appointment with the neuro.  I pored over them and searched the Internet for brain scans to compare them to.  Even without formal training I knew that Ashley's brain was not normal.  There was something wrong.  When the neurologist came in and told my husband Lance and I that Ashley had suffered a stroke inutero,  I felt as though someone had hit me with a sledgehammer in the chest.

    Ashley's stroke was in the left pariatal lobe and has affected the right side of her body.  She tends to keep the right hand fisted and they say that the sight in her right eye is also damaged. We won't really know more until she reaches milestones like walking and talking. She does have seizures and we are attempting to get them under control with Phenobarbital. So far it's not working as well as I would like. I take her to pt/ot three and four times a week and we're starting a water therapy class once a week this month.   She appears alert and  is a beautiful pudgy little angel with a smile that lights up our lives.


    We would not trade her for the world. Ashley is now 8 months old and just recently rolled over for the first time. She wears a soft orthotic on her right hand to help her keep it open.   Our mantra (as it is for a lot of you I'm sure) is 'it could have been worse'.  And although we think 'Holland' is all right, we are certain that one day we will make it to 'Italy'.

Pamela (Ashley's Mom)

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This page last updated 2/18/2002