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Teen baseball player makes a comeback after rare stroke

Posted by 
Paul Krasinic
Paul Krasinic
 20 days ago
Robbie Boyce plays baseball at St. Ignatius high school, in Cleveland, OhioJoe and Christine Boyce/Cleveland Clinic

Teen baseball player Robbie Boyce is back on the field after recovering from a rare type of stroke.

The sophomore at St. Ignatius High School, Cleveland, Ohio, was exercising at the gym in preparation for the junior varsity baseball season. He suddenly lost consciousness and had to be rushed to the hospital by a helicopter.

Five days later, he woke up in the neurological intensive care unit (ICU) at Cleveland Clinic from a medically induced coma. By that time, he had undergone a ruptured brain aneurysm surgery. This condition was what caused him to suffer a stroke.

This rare type of stroke is medically known as subarachnoid hemorrhage. The 16-year-old sustained severe internal bleeding in his brain due to this condition. Robbie's artery was even too severely damaged to salvage, prompting the doctor to insert tiny coils into the unrepairable area in order to seal off the aneurysm and block blood from flowing through the damaged artery.

After five days, Robbie finally woke up and managed to do a thumbs up. He was essentially paralyzed on the right side of his body and his recovery was relatively slow.

Robbie spent 30 days at Cleveland Clinic only to show slow signs of recovery. However, after two more weeks of rehabilitation therapy, he steadily returned to normal. During this period, Robbie had to work on improving his short-term memory and basic functions, such as locomotion.

After just three-and-a-half months after his surgery, Robbie could catch up on school subjects, from honors precalculus to chemistry. After showing remarkable progress, Robbie was finally back on the field in spring 2021.