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KCTV 5: Swift actions save 7-year-old stroke victim

According to doctors, kids don't usually have strokes.

But for 7-year-old Mason Payne, he suffered one that doctors say could have taken his life if it wasn't for the swiftness of both his parents and the medical staff involved.

Mother Amy Fair and boyfriend Josh Turpin were home with Mason when they noticed him slowly losing control of his own body.

Terrified and unsure what was happening, they drove him to Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas where they met up with his dad.

“He just couldn’t talk. You could see the fear in his eyes. You can tell he wanted to say something. He’d open his mouth, but no words would come out,” said step-dad, Josh Turpin. “It was the most fearful thing I’ve ever dealt with in my entire life.”

Story & photo by Abigael Jaymes


Doctors quickly determined the 7-year-old was having a stroke in a critical area of his brain. A blood clot was present in his basilar artery.

“The basilar artery is the main artery that is supplying your brain stem. The brain stem is essentially your command center – it keeps you breathing, it keeps your heart beating,” said Children’s Mercy pediatric neurologist Dr. Roha Khalid.

Doctors at Children’s Mercy's Adele Hall campus sent Mason to the University of Kansas Health System.

“Every moment that clock is ticking, you’re losing brain cells once that stroke starts,” Khalid said.

Doctors worked on Mason, using tools they’d typically only use on adults.

According to Khalid, Children’s Mercy is able to identify whether or not a child is experiencing a stroke. The University of Kansas Health System can then use their tools to work on the patient.

“Right now we’re the only pediatric stroke center in the Kansas City metro area. We have the ability to have a pediatric neurologist at bed side for a stroke evaluation within minutes. We also have the capability to do a sedated MRI 24/7 if needed,” said Khalid.


See the full story via KCTV 5.

Learn more about the Division of Pediatric Neurology at Children's Mercy.