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OSU wrestlers, trainers visit teenage wrestler after rare adolescent stroke

OSU wrestlers, trainers visit teenage wrestler after rare adolescent stroke (OSU).
OSU wrestlers, trainers visit teenage wrestler after rare adolescent stroke (OSU).
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Oklahoma State University wrestlers and trainers went to visit a 14-year-old wrestler in rehabilitation after he suffered a rare adolescent stroke.

The mother of the 14-year-old, Valorie Champion of Tuttle, Okla., wants to use this event as an opportunity to spread awareness of the signs and dangers of adolescent strokes.

Champion was honored to have members of the OSU wrestling team and Coach John Smith visit her son at his physical therapy session at INTEGRIS Health Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center in Yukon.

The 14-year-old, Luke Champion, has made impressive progress in the two months since he had his stroke.

In July, Luke finished and won a match at the OSU Technique Wrestling camp in Stillwater. His mother noticed him appear to lie down and fall asleep in the arena. When she ran to check on him, she noticed his face had a droop, his balance was askew, and his speech was slurred.

OSU wrestling athletic trainer Nick Goldstein was at the first aid station during the camp when several boys ran up to him to alert him of a kid having a possible stroke.

Goldstein called 911 and EMS arrived in four minutes.

After a CT scan, Luke was transferred to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City where he received Tissue Plasminogen Activator, or TPA.

TPA is a clot-busting drug for emergency strokes that restores blood flow and significantly reduces stroke symptoms in as little as 4.5 hours.

Luke also went through a thrombectomy surgery where a number of clots were removed from his brain.

Now, Luke continues working hard in physical therapy to restore the motor function he lost in the stroke.

“OSU athletic trainers were super awesome, recognized the problem, allowed me to stay beside Luke while they immediately got emergency services into the gym,” Luke's mother Valerie Champion said in a press release.

Champion says she knew the signs of a stroke, known as BE FAST—balance, eye movement, face drooping, arm weakness, slurred speech, and time.

“It’s important that parents, coaches, trainers, school nurses, and local responders consider stroke in adolescents when they see these symptoms,” Valerie said in a press release. “Parents, trust your gut if you think you see stroke symptoms in your child and get them to ER first and decide if you did the right thing later."

Goldstein says preparedness is the motto of OSU athletic training.

“Every day, I run the emergency response plans through my head,” Goldstein said in a press release. “Have a plan, practice the plan, and be prepared to follow that plan immediately. Every minute you don’t know what to do could be a lost minute in someone’s life.”

According to Lance Walker, the Rick and Gail Muncrief Executive Director of OSU's Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute, the number of young patients admitted for stroke treatment has increased.

“The latest research is telling us you can’t be too young to have a stroke,” Walker said in a press release. “As many as 10% of all strokes today are in adults and adolescents younger than 50. The key to survival is recognizing the symptoms and getting the person to a hospital fast. It’s alarming to know that a third of adults under the age of 45 don’t know these common symptoms; changing that dynamic will save lives.”


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