Boy, 7, may never fully recover after suffering stroke brought on by chickenpox he had NINE MONTHS earlierVirus had caused Alex Roantree-Roesch's arteries to hardenHe now has splint on leg and has lost dexterity in handSpeech remains slurred and doctors do not know if he will fully recover
11:44 GMT, 8 June 2012
A seven-year-old boy collapsed from a stroke brought on by the chickenpox he had nine months earlier.
Alex Roantree-Roesch was found unconscious by his horrified father Mike in the living room of their home in Gosport, Hampshire.
The youngster was taken to hospital and told he had suffered a stroke, and that it had been triggered by the virus, which shrunk his arteries.
Long-term effects: Alex Roantree-Roesch, pictured with mother Angela, has to wear a splint on his leg and has lost some dexterity in his right hand after he keeled over in his living room
IT worker Mr Roantree-Roesch, 40, said: 'My wife was out doing some shopping and I was washing up in the kitchen when I heard a bang from the living room.
'I went in and saw Alex on the floor, his legs had buckled under him and he was like a rag doll.
'I asked him where it hurt but I
couldn’t get anything out of him. Then he let out a moan, a horrid sort
of wail, and it was like someone flicked a switch and he just turned
Alex now wears a splint on his right leg and has lost some dexterity in his hand. He is having occupational therapy and physiotherapy at a rehabilitation centre and has to iron tablets and aspirin every day.
He said: 'I was watching cartoons on telly and just lost control of my hands.
'I don’t really remember much of it but I know I’m not as well as I was before and I do find some things difficult now.'
Rare complication: Doctors told Alex that his chickenpox had triggered the stroke by causing his arteries to shrink
Although rare, strokes have a recognised link to chickenpox. According to the Stroke Association, one child in 25,000 suffers a stroke as a result of the virus because it shrinks the arteries.
Alex's mother Angela, 35, said: 'The doctors said the only thing they could put it down to was the chickenpox, after they had eliminated everything else.
'It was amazing to see him sit up for the first time, but that was a big landmark.
'His speech is still a little bit slurred and he’s not as talkative as he once was, but he is definitely getting better all the time.
'They think he will get most of his function back, but they don’t know if he will get all of it back.'