KC woman who survived stroke at 16 reminds others it can happen to anyone at any age

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City woman is sharing her survival story to warn others about something that kills children every year: pediatric strokes.

Madeline Mudd is a 22-year-old college student. She's a bright, smiling young woman whose battle scars you wouldn't see at first glance.

"I don't know where I pick up and where I remember. I don't remember that day. I only remember what I've been told by my friends and my family. I literally have no memory of that day," she said.

Back when Madeline was 16, the skilled figure skater spent hours on the ice, perfecting her craft.

Madeline's mother, Marcy, said her daughter was very healthy and had no known health issues when she got a phone call saying her daughter had collapsed.

Madeline Mudd

"It was the rink number, and the manager tole me Madeline collapsed," Marcy said. "In the ER she was screaming. She was like, 'My head, my head, my head.'"

While she was waiting in the emergency room, Madeline's arm began to jerk.

"She was one half of neuro check away from death," Marcy said. "The only thing that would respond was one pupil. Nothing else would respond, and the doctor said, 'We don't know if we can save her.'"

Madeline had suffered a major stroke following a ruptured aneurysm. Doctors removed parts of her skull and worked to control the pressure.

"Statistically, she beat the odds, so there's a reason she's here," Marcy said.

At one point, doctors didn't know if Madeline would be able to walk again.

"In my physical therapy sessions, the goal was how can we turn your therapy towards skating? How can this help you get back into skating? How can we strengthen these muscles so you can skate again? It was always skating, skating, skating, which I'm very thankful for," Madeline said.

"For us to get to watch her skate again is something we never thought we'd see and because it gives her so much joy. It feeds my soul. It feeds her soul."

"I want people to understand that young people have strokes. There are kids out there. They're younger than me. They've had serious strokes, and they can happen to anybody at any age," Madeline said.

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