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Kenny’s Path

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my friend Larry who is recuperating from the effects of a stroke he had a few years ago. I recounted the challenges that he and his wife Julie are having regarding the strain that often occurs in a relationship as the partner who had the stroke regains physical and mental abilities. This is especially true when the conversation concerns balance of power issues, like resuming previously held duties within the relationship. Larry’s and Julie’s first major hurdle is his desire to slip behind the wheel of his car once again.

One more thing about Larry’s recovery: I saw him again last week and although the car issue still abounds, he told me of a conversation he had with a teenager he met recently at the dog park. The teenager also had a stroke. Before you raise that eyebrow about teenagers having strokes, read the following.

It's is a myth that only older adults have strokes. While people over 65 are at higher risk of stroke, a person of any age can have a stroke, including teenagers, children, newborns and unborn babies. Although estimates vary, stroke affects about 6 in 100,000 children. Stroke is a leading cause of death in children in the U.S.

National Stroke Association

Kenny is 17 and had his stroke only last year. One of the challenges he faces, according to his mother who was with him at the park, is extreme depression. Larry talked with them about how much help a support group was for him. It was then that Kenny looked up and said the first words in the half hour since Larry met him and his mother. “I did go, but they don’t understand what I am going through. Everyone was so old, I didn’t fit in.”

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