JACKSON, TN (WMC) - A West Tennessee 7th grader is recovering from something that is typically heard of in adults. You do not normally hear of a child having a stroke, but that's what happened to one 7th grade student while he was at school.
Isaiah Griffin will turn 14 years old Friday. He has been at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital for days.
Griffin and his family are warning parents of the warning signs of pediatric stroke, but they also have some important words for the person who saved Griffin's life -- Thank You.
"There's always a second chance," Griffin said.
Just days before his 14th birthday, not to mention a week away from Christmas, Griffin is in a hospital bed and is giving thanks for a second chance.
"All I remember is waking up with tubes in my mouth and lots of stuff going on," Griffin said.
He knows he is a walking miracle. He was flown to Le Bonheur on Friday after he suffered a stroke at his school in Jackson, Tennessee.
"At one point, I thought I was going to die," Griffin said.
He was vomiting and his eyes rolled back into his head. He and his family never saw it coming.
"When the doctor told me it could go either way, no parent wants to hear it can go either way," Debra Griffin said.
It was the nurse who the family is crediting with helping give Griffin a second chance at life. Griffin and his family said Carrie Stephenson, the school nurse, quickly responded and noticed something was just not quite right. She called for emergency responders.
"For her quick thinking and for what she did and stuff, Isaiah would not have been here," Debra said.
Stephenson said she is not a hero. She said for her, it was simple. She's a nurse and she was doing her job to help.
"I would just consider myself an every day nurse, that I would hope any nurse would do," Stephenson said.
Isaiah's mother couldn't be more thankful to this nurse.
"I could have been planning a funeral," Debra said. "He could have not seen his 14th birthday."
Debra wants to see more nurses in schools.
As for Isaiah, he's ready to be home in time for his birthday and Christmas, where he is hoping to get a PS4.
"Never give up, always believe," Griffin said.
Griffin said his long term goal is to be a computer programmer.
According to the National Stroke Association, pediatric stroke is among the top 10 causes of child deaths and the risk of a child having a stroke between the ages of birth and 18 years old are 11 in 100,000.
According to the World Pediatric Stroke Association, symptoms for pediatric stroke often look like something else. The Association said there are multiple signs of pediatric stroke, including:
- speech disturbance
- new onset of seizures
- mental status changes
- loss of coordination
- loss of consciousness
- severe headaches
- visual disturbances
- high fever
- weakness on one side.
The World Pediatric Association said if you see these symptoms in your child, immediately seek medical attention.