WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy (D-CT) introduced companion resolutions in the House and Senate today to recognize May 2015 as “National Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month.” This annual resolution has been inspired by seven-year-old Wilton resident Patch Angerame, who suffered a stroke before he was born.

“We usually think of strokes as affecting only the elderly, but strokes are a leading cause of cerebral palsy and disability in children, and can even be fatal to them,” Himes said. “After learning of Patch’s story and speaking with his family, I have advocated for increased awareness, research and treatment efforts for pediatric strokes. I am pleased to introduce this resolution so that children at risk of or suffering from strokes may be able to live full, healthy lives.”

“Increased awareness for pediatric strokes will enable more to be done to recognize, diagnose, and treat this horrible condition that affects children across the country,” said Senator Blumenthal. “This resolution helps accomplish our goal to raise awareness that a pediatric stroke can cause permanent neurologic damage or death if not promptly diagnosed and treated.  I am proud and honored to have gotten to know Patch and work with him on this vitally important issue. Patch’s story, and the stories of other children like him, are an inspiration to me and I am committed to continue working hard for the community.”

“Too often, people think of strokes as something that affects only adults and seniors. My hope is that National Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month reminds us all that strokes can have devastating consequences at every stage of development,” said Senator Murphy. “What happened to Patch breaks my heart, and further tragedies can only be prevented if Congress steps up and increases funding for the critical research and health services needed to make these important medical advances.”

The American Stroke Association estimates that pediatric strokes are experiences by approximately 1 out of every 3,500 live births, and 4.6 out of 100,000 children ages 19 each year, and pediatric strokes are among the top 12 causes of death for children between ages 1 and 14 in the United States.

The resolution urges support of programs, services and organizations that provide increased awareness and education on pediatric strokes; supports the work of the National Institutes of Health for medical research and work on pediatric strokes; and urges the coordination between federal, state, and local governments to improve treatments and prognoses for children who suffer from pediatric strokes.