Abu Dhabi: It was a normal day and 15-year-old Ebrahim Abu Nemir had taken a small nap after coming home from school. But when he woke up, he couldn’t speak. His parents knew something was wrong.
They rushed him to hospital, thus preventing a stroke that could have been fatal without timely intervention.
“I’ve learnt that a stroke can happen to anyone, at any age. My parent’s timely actions saved my life, and this was only possible because they recognised the symptoms of stroke,” Abu Nemir, a Palestinian student, told Gulf News.
In fact, on the fateful day, Mahmoud Ebrahim, 45, Abu Nemir’s father and a restaurant owner, noticed his son’s inability to speak. The boy was also unable to move his left arm and leg, tell-tale symptoms of a stroke.
“Fortunately, the youth was brought to the hospital within the three-hour stroke treatment window,” Dr Jamal Alkoteesh, consultant and chief of interventional radiologist at Al Ain Hospital, told Gulf News.
“Upon treatment, we found that Abu Nemir was born with a rare heart condition in which one of his left heart chamber walls was not smooth and even. This allows clots to form and travel through the vessels and block them,” the doctor added.
The surgical team performed a stroke mechanical thrombectomy to remove the clot.
“This is the first time in ten years that I’ve performed a surgical removal of a clot in a child in Al Ain. Prior to the procedure, we even consulted with international specialists who’ve seen such cases,” added Dr Alkoteesh.
The surgeons inserted a catheter through a two-millimetre opening in Abu Nemir’s groin, and used another aspiration catheter to suck out the clot.
Dr Alkoteesh said Abu Nemir’s condition started to improve a few hours after the procedure. He was closely followed for seven days afterwards, before being discharged.
“The patient has to be on anticoagulants for life, but otherwise the incident has not affected his overall health,” he said.
While Abu Nemir’s case is rare, Dr Alkoteesh that the prevalence of strokes among younger residents is on the rise.
“Over the last ten days alone, I’ve dealt with three cases of stroke among patients in their 30s. This is not common outside the region and calls for immediate action to curtail lifestyle diseases,” he said.