Sunday, August 23, 2009

What a Climber!!!

Hannah is our amazing 3.5 year old daughter. When she entered the (typical) preschool classroom in January, she became determined to climb the large rope "wall" on the preschool playground. She started out having trouble climbing up even a few steps and needed help getting down. But she is a determined little thing and worked at it each time her class went outside.

Now, she can scale up and down that entire wall independently, and rather quickly (gripping with both hands, I might add!)!! Some of the 4 year old boys in her class can't even conquer that wall! We're so darn proud of her. Nothing will stop this girl.

She even recently started being able to lift her body weight off of the ground while hanging with two hands from a bar! Hannah's in utero stroke was quite large (left middle cerebral artery), so watching her strength and agility when she climbs things is just beyond belief.

Our little climber is also very sweet, very talkative, and smart beyond her years. And she's probably one of the few 3 year olds who loves to look at maps/globes and knows the capitals of more than 20 states. ~ Hannah's mom


  1. What a fantastic achievement. My little girl (1.5) had the exact same stroke so this gives me great hope for the future. (I can't name 20 states let alone their capitals, so Hannah really is advanced)

  2. It is SO great to hear this story. My daughter who is now 11 months was diagnosed at 9 months with a left MCA stroke and she has just begun to receive therapy. We know it's a long road but it is hopeful to hear such an inspiring story of achievement.

  3. I have read this story over and over again during the past couple of weeks. Our daughter Abigail was born on 8/20 and was diagnosed with a stroke in her left MCA (very close to the center of Willis). Reading about Hannah gives us a lot of hope as we are so unsure of what to expect. What a strong little girl Hannah is. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hannah's very proud mama, KristieSeptember 15, 2009 at 1:16 PM

    I'm so touched that Hannah gives you hope. It's wonderful to focus on what our children CAN do! So, I'll continue bragging if it will help. ;-)

    Here are some examples: Hannah didn't walk until 17 months but now can run, jump, gallop, walk backwards and do a somersault. She potty trained at 2 (ahead of some of her friends) and is independent in using the bathroom. She was a little slow to start talking, but her speech & language are well above average. She recently took standardized tests as part of my colleague's study and she scored at the 91st percentile for grammar and the 89th %ile for pronunciation. So, she's clearly speaking better than MANY peers who aren't stroke survivors!

    All kids develop differently, of course, but I would never underestimate what your child can accomplish! With daily encouragement and stimulation and gentle challenge, our kids can not only "hold their own" among their typically developing peers, but can be shining stars!

  5. That is wonderful! You must be so proud. Abigail is doing very well so far. Eating well and moving both sides of her body well. So, we are just hoping and praying that she will shine like Hannah. If you don't mind me asking, was a large part of Hannah's MCA affected? Abbie's stroke was pretty major but we are still trying to remain very optimistic.

  6. Hi Katherine,
    It sounds like Abbie is already shining. =) That's terrific news. Yes, Hannah's stroke was the full distribution of the MCA (posterior frontal lobe, much of the temporal lobe and part of the parietal lobe). When I first learned of the extent of the stroke, I was beyond devastated. It was really difficult to look at the MRI pictuers. Now, when I occasionally come across those pictures, I focus on that beautiful right hemisphere and the remaining parts of the left hem, and just marvel at how they have taken over. Every single neurologist, PT, OT etc is ASTOUNDED to hear how large that stroke was given how wonderfully Hannah is doing. You'll see that recurrent theme on the hemi-kids can NOT dictate how a child will develop based on an MRI. The brain is too willing to compensate for the disrupted area. So, I think it's great that you're remaining very have good reason to, and it's the best thing we can do for our kids!

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  8. I am one of Abbie's proud grandparents. We move forward with love and hope. She is doing great! I appreciate hearing about Hannah's wonderful accomplishments. You go girl!

  9. Thank you so much for posting this. My son is almost 11 months, and we just found out a couple of weeks ago that he suffered a left MCA stroke during my last trimester of pregnancy. This was such shocking news to us because none of the risk factors were present.

    It is great to hear stories of children in the same situation that we are in. Please let Hannah know what an inspiration she is!!!