Local Teen Recovering from Rare Stroke

Posted at: 07/02/2013 6:41 PM
By: Katie Eldred

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Seniors are not the only ones at risk for strokes. More and more teens and young adults are having them.

One Mantorville family knows this all too well.

Anthony Hofstad was supposed to spend is summer running his lawn mowing business and heading to Boy Scout Camp. Now it's uncertain if he will even be able to start school in September. All after he went to the hospital thinking he was simply suffering a very painful headache.

His weekend started with the arrival of his brand new lawn mower he saved for years to buy and the passing of his drivers permit test.

"It was probably the best day I'd had for a long time," said Anthony Hofstad.

The next day the 15 year old was crippled by what he thought was a terrible headache.

"All of a sudden I got double vision and very dizzy," said Anthony Hofstad.

After two trips to the hospital doctors finally discovered what was wrong. For Anthony’s dad Don the diagnosis was hard to believe.

"When you heard it, I was like he's 15 how could he have a stroke," said Don Hofstad.

"I just lost it you think the worst," said Anthony’s mom Karen Hofstad.

Both parents knew the symptoms of a stroke after dealing with a grandparent who was paralyzed by one. But like many parents they didn't know teenagers could have them.

"The percentage was less than 5 percent and none of the doctors were thinking that," said Karen Hofstad.

According the National Stroke Association doctors have seen an increase of strokes in the past 13 years in people ages 15-34. 

Anthony was able to quickly get back on his feet, but he faces a long road ahead filled with physical therapy.

"Watching him recover, everyday he's stronger and he amazes me how much he's regained his strength," said Karen Hofstad.

"He's a tough kid, he's been through so much, he's my hero," said Don Hofstad.

Under doctor’s orders Anthony is not allowed to drive a car or even his new mower, but he's still trying to be positive.

"I could have been paralyzed, luckily I wasn't," said Anthon Hofstad.

With each doctor’s appointment and 2 hour long physical therapy session he keeps one thing in mind.

"My biggest motivation is to get back on my mower," said Anthony Hofstad.

Dr's said an unknown hole in Anthony's heart and abnormal blood clotting lead to his stroke.

Strokes affect around 6 in one hundred thousand children in the U.S. each year.