Boy, 10, celebrates anniversary of being stroke free

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Boy, 10, celebrates anniversary of being stroke free. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 5:30 p.m. on May 19, 2017. (WPVI)

A 10-year-old South Jersey boy, marked a very special anniversary - one that even his doctors thought he'd never see.

Chase Schweiger played for hours during Beeler Elementary School's annual field day.

"Field day is today and I'm really happy," Chase said.

But this simple act of talking, let alone dancing, is being described by doctors as nothing short of amazing.

"His recovery is a miracle," mom Wendy Schweiger said.

Three years ago, a similar day filled with fun and games ended with the 10-year-old suddenly collapsing.

"I was playing soccer and then I was like out," Chase said.

"He just sat down and then he just kind of laid back, and he just like his eyes were just closed," neighbor Trevor Thomas said.

Schweiger said, "Suddenly I hear the words Chase get up, and I turn around and Chase was laying there unresponsive."

The 4th grader was rushed to the hospital, doctors first thought he had a seizure.

But his parents insisted it was something else.

Eighteen hours later, tests revealed a devastating diagnosis. He'd suffered a massive stroke on the left side of his brain.

"At that point we didn't know if he would survive, and if he did survive if he was going to able to walk or talk, or eat a taco again," Schweiger said.

Chase was taken CHOP where he stayed for over three months and underwent intensive therapy.

"I was there every week and I would watch movies with him, and play basketball and eat dinner and lunch with him," best friend Sam Lebin.

When asked why did you decide to do that? "Because he is my best friend," added Sam.

"Every week I went there and every week he started getting better," younger brother Mason Schweiger said.

Chase will need to continue physical therapy to improve mobility.

But for the most part, he's back to being a kid who enjoys playing outside with his best friends.

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have," Schweiger said.

The risk of stroke is about 11 in 100,000 children per year.

Schweiger is hoping to change that by raising awareness so that parents can spot the symptoms before it's too late.
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