LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — A Kansas City area teen is recovering after experiencing a stroke.
One Lee’s Summit family learned how quickly life can change in a single moment. The teen mom has a message to other parents.
AJ Wishne was an active 15-year-old. In May, he was rushed to the University of Kansas Health System after suffering a stroke.
He was lifting weights with his brother when he knew something was wrong.
“He looked at me like I was crazy,” Wishne said. “Then I realized I wasn’t speaking real words.”
He had difficulty speaking, a drooping face and he couldn’t use his right arm.
“Our fear was normal teenage fears, like be safe driving,” mom Angie Wishne said. “We never dreamt that he would be doing something as simple as a leg press at a gym that would cause him life changing experiences.”
A CAT Scan showed AJ had a brain bleed. More than that, doctors discovered he was born with AVM, an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins.
It’s rare, according to Dr. Jeremy Peterson, Endovascular Neurosurgeon with the University of Kansas Health System.
It only happens in about 1% of the population and only about 2-4% of those people experience a rupture, like AJ.
“It’s kind of crazy because there’s not many people like me,” Wishne said. “So, that’s kind of cool.”
In a five-hour surgery, doctors were able to remove the blood clot and repair and remove broken veins.
“I think he will get a very good recovery,” Dr. Peterson said. “I think he may still have some difficulties with his speech over time, I think he may still notice a bit of weakness over time, but being a young kid, that’s in his favor that he will regain a lot of those functions.”
Wishne’s positive attitude makes his parents proud.
“He’s a fighter!” Angie said.
Wishne has a long road to recovery. Swimming and sports are sidelined this Summer, while he focuses on physical therapy — six-hour sessions, three times a week.
“It’s just amazing the support he’s gotten from his friends, and we’ve gotten from other people in the community and even across the state,” dad Kirk Wishne said.
To keep his emotional side healthy, Wishne hopes to get a therapy dog.
His parents got their wish when they brought him home just one week after he had a stroke. Three days after surgery he’s walking and talking.
“Cherish your time with your kids because you honestly don’t know what tomorrow holds, just love them,” Angie said. “Tell them I love you even if they don’t want to hear it.”
AJ hopes to be ready for his first day of sophomore year of high school in the Fall — back to wrestling and playing baseball.