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Your Healthy Family: Teen Stroke Victim - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Teen Stroke Victim

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

May is national stroke awareness month and while the majority of people who suffer a stroke are over the age of 50, the number of strokes in younger people is growing.  Fifteen-year-old Sam Vaught now spends almost 15 hours a week undergoing intense therapy to regain movement and recover from a stroke. His father Justin says the life-changing medical emergency hit Sam almost seven-months ago and  began as a headache and then vomiting.  "There was a blood clot that formed between point A the heart and point B the carotid."

Doctors don't know for sure what caused the massive bleed, but the damage was severe.  75% Of the right side of Sam’s brain was impacted.  After emerging from three weeks in a coma, Sam didn't even have the muscle strength to even get out of bed.

The process now is very different for father and son says Justin.  "On my end it's patience for his part, it's hard work and determination."  

Sam spent three months in an inpatient treatment facility.  He's back at school and meets three times a week with physical therapist Dr. Tim Saulsbury.  "I have been at this at more than 20 years. Maybe a couple a three times I have seen young people like this have a stroke. Not very many."

Dr. Saulsbury measures Sam's progress by small steps.  As far as he’s come his left side still partially paralyzed. "While Sam is bearing weight with his left arm he's drawing with his right arm" says Dr. Saulsbury.

For Sam it’s been the sheer force of his work ethic and young age that have moved things along and should allow him to keep moving forward according to Dr. Saulsbury.  "When someone gives the effort he has given. They are going to one he is pleasure to work with. And two they are guaranteed success"

Sam's dad says facing this crisis has made the bond with his son and four other children stronger.  "It's changed our lifestyle. It's changed how we think of the future and how we cherish our kids."

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