Abbie Gruscavage's Page
As many of you know, our daughter Clara was born on July 28, 2011. She was perfect, scoring an 8 and a 9 on her apgars, and showing off her very loud set of lungs :) About four hours after she was born, she was taken to the nursery for her first bath and an extremely observant nurse noticed that she was having very subtle seizures on her left side. She was brought into my hospital room and I was able to hold her just long enough to give her a kiss before she was quickly whisked away to the NICU.
After numerous tests including a CT scan, MRI, and spinal tap it was determined that she had suffered a stroke while she was still in utero. The Neurologist was even able to narrow the timeframe down to the week before she was born. I was blindsided! I had no idea that children and babies, even the unborn, could have strokes. Although the staff in the NICU at St. Joseph Medical Center was absolutely amazing during Clara's week long stay, we were left with many unanswered questions. Mainly because the cause of in utero stroke is often unknown. We left the hospital a week later feeling very fortunate that our daughter was a survivor; but very, very scared of what the future could bring. Children who have strokes often have emotional, developmental, and/or cognitive delays.
Although we still do not know what caused Clara's stroke, we are grateful for the amazing nurses and doctors who took care of her in her first hours and days. She is now being followed by the unbelievable Neurologists at the Stoke Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She also receives OT and PT weekly. She is one of the lucky ones and has been reaching her milestones on time and is a happy, social, vocal little girl. Her doctors, therapists, as well as us, are very optimistic about her future.
In honor of our amazing little Clara, please support CHASA in their effort to raise awareness about Pediatic Stroke.
Thank You ,
Abbie, Dan, Charlie, and CLARA <3