Mom Shares Photos to Warn About Health Issue You Didn't Know Could Affect Kids

Simmons family stroke survivors
Micah Simmons Photography

One mom is using her talent to bring attention to a cause that's close to her heart. Photographer and mom-of-three Micah Simmons is sharing stunning photos of her children, two of whom suffered pediatric strokes, or strokes that occur while in utero, to raise awareness for their condition, which is more common than many parents might realize.

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When Simmons was 35 weeks pregnant with her oldest child -- son Logan -- she had a sudden sense that something was wrong, but she says doctors chalked her concerns up to first-time jitters. 

"With Logan, the first few days were truly just my intuition," she told CafeMom. "I'd absolutely call it mother's intuition. Then the decreased fetal movement happened, then the funny movements, and finally someone took me seriously."

When Logan was delivered via C-section, doctors told Simmons her baby had suffered a stroke. As a result, Logan has cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and cognitive delays.

pediatric stroke
Micah Simmons Photography
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When asked what advice she would give to other mothers, Simmons said she tells moms, "First and foremost, trust your gut. If something doesn't seem right, press your doctor to take you seriously. Mama intuition is very, very real."

When she was expecting her second child -- daughter Alyssa -- again, she felt something was amiss.

"With Alyssa, I was seeing a different doctor and she trusted my mama gut," she told us, "and delivered within hours of me saying I knew something was off.  And hence why Alyssa's strokes caused much less damage and she didn't have as many as Logan."
 

Her little girl had suffered three small strokes that caused eye damage but no additional concerns. 

Pediatric stroke
Micah Simmons Photography
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Despite the challenges they face, these adorable kiddos exude joy, happiness, and a zest for life. Simmons, who is expecting her fourth child, said her family visits the Magic Kingdom each year, as Logan "is obsessed with Disney and memorizes all the movie lines."

pediatric stroke
Micah Simmons Photography

Alyssa enjoys dressing up as Spider-Man, though Batman and Pikachu are favorites as well.  

pediatric stroke
Micah Simmons Photography
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As May is National Stroke Awareness Month, Simmons told CafeMom:

It truly is a dream come true for me to be able to raise awareness on such large platforms for my children who are stroke survivors, for other children, for the angel babies that didn't survive this, and for the parents. And to be able to use my art, my photos to do such a thing. 

Many people don't realize that strokes can occur at any age. To be aware of the warning signs or symptoms, keep the acronym FAST in mind. F stands for "face." If someone's face begins drooping to one side, it's a cause for concern. A is for "arms" -- is one drifting downward? S is for "speech" -- if it's slurred or strange, that's a tip-off that something's amiss. T is for "time" because, should you observe any of these symptoms, it's important to call 911 immediately, as every second counts. 

We applaud this mom for sharing her story and her beautiful images to make others aware of this life-altering condition. 

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