QUAKERTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – May is Stroke Awareness Month, and as we close out the month, doctors say awareness will save lives. Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke in the United States, and they can strike at any age.
It was a normal pregnancy and delivery, but hours after he was born, Michael Keeble started having seizures.READ MORE: Ocean County Couple Among Those Missing In Building Collapse Near Miami
“We were devastated to hear the word stroke and I think more than anything, surprised because we never knew that children or babies could have strokes,” mother Jennifer Keeble said.
Strokes happen when blood flow in the brain is interrupted and they can happen at any age.
Now three years later, Michael is an active little boy, along with his little brother, happy to virtually share snacks.
“Michael is a very happy boy and he has a very preserving spirit,” Jennifer Keeble said.
Pediatric strokes are rare but can happen for a variety of reasons and sometimes, like with Michael, it’s a mystery.READ MORE: Philadelphia Board Of Education To Officially Rename Andrew Jackson Elementary School
“They say it’s really hard to pinpoint the exact cause and it’s not something that you can ever prevent,” Jennifer Keeble said. “There’s nothing we could’ve done to prevent what happened.”
Michael now has some developmental delays and gets a variety of therapies, where he’s making good progress.
The stroke is now something the family from Quakertown has learned to live with.
“It can be crushing and devastating but it’s not the end of the world and you know there’s people out here to help you and support you,” father Brett Keeble said.
Some of that support coming from The American Heart Association that’s honoring Michael with its Stroke Hero Award in honor of Stroke Awareness Month.
“He makes all of our activities really fun, so all of those things that make Michael so wonderful and special, really help to work through all of his challenges,” Jennifer Keeble said.MORE NEWS: City Council Passes New, Simplified Curfew For Philadelphia Minors
Doctors say Michael was lucky that he was treated quickly. With strokes, every second counts, which is why people need to know the warning signs, like arm weakness and difficulty talking, and get help fast.