2023 Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon & Walk
Sunday, March 19, 2023
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Fundraising Progress $668.92
Fundraising Goal $3,500
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We Walk to Save Lives!
2023 Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon & Walk
Our WHY is to support the #DAVIDSTRONG Mission to increase Cerebrovascular Pediatric Stroke Awareness in seemingly healthy children and teenagers.
David Moskowitz Pediatric Stroke Survivor Story
At age seventeen, I was a strong, active, and seemingly healthy, senior at Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, OH when I suffered a rare Cerebrovascular stroke. During lacrosse training, I noticed the right side of my mouth and face were tingling. My teammates and I jokingly questioned if I could be having a stroke; but we didn’t believe it. I was a healthy and fit teenager. I had no preexisting health conditions. However, when I told my parents about my unusual face and mouth tingling, they took me straight to the Emergency Department.
In the Emergency Department, I completed various physical and mental exams. I easily passed all the tests. Still, my mouth and face continued to tingle and started to feel numb. My parents questioned if I could be having a stroke and were told it was very unlikely. From all appearances, I was a healthy active teen and was sent home.
Overnight, my symptoms worsened and the right side of my face, shoulder, and arm were numb. During an MRI, doctors realized my condition was critical. I was suffering a Cerebrovascular stroke. It is extremely rare for a teenager with no preexisting health conditions to suffer a stroke from a brain bleed. We learned I had a large inoperable AVM, Arteriovenous Malformation in the center of my brain wrapped around my brain stem. My identical twin brother, Jack and I had an unknown genetic disorder called Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) which caused my AVM to form. My parents were told my condition would deteriorate and the effects of the brain bleed would be catastrophic.
I was admitted to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit where I spent nearly a month fighting to live. I went from being a strong, good student, and varsity lacrosse player to not being able to move. I lost the ability to move the entire right side of my body. My left side mobility and vision were severely compromised. This was a very dark time for me.
After three attempts by my neurovascular surgeon, Dr. Sudhakar Vadivelu to stabilize the inoperable AVM which had caused my brain bleed and weeks fighting to live in the PICU, I was stable enough for Dr. Luke Pater to perform Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery rarely performed on kids and teens for Cerebrovascular stroke. The full effects of the procedure would not be known for three years.
Weeks later, I was released from Cincinnati Children’s; but my road to recovery had just begun. I underwent six months of grueling and intense Physical and Occupational therapies at UC Drake. Thankfully, I regained full mobility, my strength, and vision back. My family and I contribute my stroke recover to Dr. Brett Kissela and the extraordinary team of Physical and Occupational Therapists at UC Health, Drake Stroke Recovery Center for encouraging, pushing, and ultimately returning me to a ‘normal’ life.
In May 2021, we learned the radiosurgery successfully rerouted my brain’s blood flow away from the inoperable AVM which caused my stroke. We remain hopeful my blood flow will continue to flow around the inoperable AVM so I may live a long purposeful life. I feel incredibly fortunate to live in Cincinnati, OH, where an advanced, innovated Children’s Hospital is located. CCHMC retains the nation’s leading expert medical professionals in their fields, who perform medical miracles every day in our community. Along with countless answered prayers, Dr. Sudhaker Vadivelu, Dr. Luke Pater, Dr. Michael Taylor, and the PICU attendees, fellows, and nurses are the reasons I am alive today.
Despite short- and long-term effects from my stroke, in August 2018, I started college at the University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I am thrilled to have graduated with a BSN in April 2022. Today… I have the privilege of working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center's PICU alongside some of the same nurses whose medical care significantly contributed to saving my life five years ago. I feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to be part of Cincinnati Children’s team pediatric intensive care team and to provide life-saving medical care to other critical children and teenagers.
Being a pediatric stroke survivor and a former Cincinnati Children’s PICU patient, I am living proof how important it is to receive best-in-class critical care. Since my stroke, I have heard stories of “healthy” kids and teens dying from Cerebrovascular stroke. The greater public doesn’t think “stroke” when a healthy kid or teen is suddenly in distress with a medical crisis. Instead, the symptoms are assumed to be low blood sugar, heat stroke, dehydration, or attribute symptoms to a teen being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. By increasing pediatric stroke awareness, my hope is more lives of stroke’s youngest victims will be saved.
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Heart Mini community has been part of my journey since my early rehab days at UC Drake, Stroke Recovery Center. The AHA Heart Mini is a supportive community who continues to encourage me to live my best life. The AHA Heart Mini team’s work in raising money to fight Heart and Cerebrovascular disease while bringing awareness of the signs of stroke is saving many lives. The AHA Heart Mini team also supports the #DAVIDSTRONG mission to remind the public that seemingly healthy kids and teens have strokes and urgent medical care is critical to their survival. If you see stroke symptoms in a healthy kid or teen…CALL 911…you may save a life.
Pediatric Stroke Survivor
2022 ASA, Voters’ Choice, Stroke Hero
Denotes a Team Captain
Team Honor Roll