Rare Stroke in 7-Year-Old Puts Teams to the Test

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Jill Chadwick

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            Doctors say it’s pretty rare for kids to have a stroke. But 7-year-old Mason Payne suffered one that could have taken his life if not for quick action by his parents and medical teams

            Mason was home with his mother Amy Fair and her boyfriend Josh Turpin when they noticed him suddenly losing control of his own body. They raced him to Children’s Mercy where they met up with his dad. Doctors quickly determined Mason’s stroke was caused by a blood clot in a critical artery that supplies the brain with blood. Because of a partnership with The University of Kansas Health System, Mason was immediately taken there, where the stroke team is used to treating patients with this critical condition. The team took the tiniest adult tools they had to suck out the obstruction to Mason’s brain…and the results were instant and dramatic. He recently celebrated his 8th birthday, and doctors say he should live a long and normal life.

            In the video, we hear from Dr. Colleen Lechtenberg, medical director of the stroke program, who describes what Mason was like on arrival and what the whole team did. She also explains why a child with a stroke needs an adult hospital and why children’s strokes can be more dangerous.

            Dr. Koji Ebersole is the endovascular neurosurgeon who performed the procedure on Mason. He explains what he did and how it helped, and why the partnership between the two hospitals is so important. He also describes the symptoms of a stroke, and explains why it’s so important to get immediate help, not from just the closest hospital, but a certified stroke center.

            We also hear from Amy Fair, Mason’s mom and her boyfriend Josh Turpin who first noticed Mason’s problem. They tell what was happening with him and their fear at seeing him so helpless.

            Also in the video is Ray Payne, Mason’s dad who feels blessed to have his son doing so well. The video includes shots of Mason interacting with family members and doctors and playing in the clinic.