Southern California Girl, 6, Suffers Rare Stroke

Payden's parents still don't know what caused the young girl's condition, but the family wants to warn other parents

Rebekah Jager and Chad Benson said their daughter Payden was playing softball the day she suffered a rare stroke.

"Our 6-year-old daughter that was completely normal playing softball that same morning right before – now is laying in a hospital bed, suffered a massive stroke and now has a bleed on her brain and we don't know why,” Payden’s mother wept, as she spoke with NBC 7 Friday.

Doctors at Rady Children's Hospital don't know what caused Payden’s stroke. 

Her parents said a couple of months before the stroke, Payden complained her eyes and head hurt and, every so often, she felt dizzy.

"Sensitive to noise, sensitive to light, she would plug her ears,” her mother said. “We'd be watching football loud on the surround sound at home and she would come in and say turn it down, turn it down.”

Payden's parents said they didn’t think much of it, but had her checked out by the doctor several times to be safe.

"We thought it was just 5-year-old attention, maybe she needs glasses,” Rebekah explained.

Three weeks ago, after a softball game, Payden’s parents were getting ready to take her to the emergency room for a boil that had formed on her leg. Just then, the little girl collapsed in her father’s arms and started shaking.

“Once I picked her up she started shaking and then crying and I asked her ‘You okay? Give me a hug; let me know you’re okay,’” he recounted.

Payden was unresponsive and rushed to the emergency room.

It took several days for doctors to diagnose what happened to her as a stroke.

Nineteen days later, Payden as been through countless procedures and even surgery, and still, many questions remain unanswered.

Doctors told Payden’s parents that childhood stroke is becoming more common.

Rebekah and Chad told NBC 7 they want other families to be warned of this.

"My main goal now going through all this is to make sure that it doesn't happen again. It doesn't happen to somebody else,” her father said.

Payden is unable to eat, speak or breathe on her own now. Her prognosis is not yet known.

"Our main thing is for prayer,” Rebekah said. “We ask for prayer, support to raise awareness to get her story out so that people know that this does happen and maybe one day we can figure out why."

Rebekah and Chad are hoping to find a specialist who can determine what the original cause of the stroke was, but for now they're just taking it day by day.

If you want to follow Payden's story, go the the Prayers for Payden page on Facebook.


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