A healthy 14-year-old boy got hit in the neck with a basketball. The next day, he had a stroke.

Mekhi Bailey poses
Mekhi Bailey got hit hard with a basketball in the neck while playing in the park with his friends. The next day, the then-14-year-old had a stroke. Comer Children's treated him using their new pediatric stroke protocol and Bailey is now back to playing basketball at his high school.

While playing basketball with his friends in the park, Mekhi Bailey, then 14, took a hard hit to the neck. Pain from the collision was temporary.

But the next morning, Bailey woke up and couldn’t feel his arm. Soon, the whole left side of his body was drooping and the teen was slurring his words.

Bailey was having a stroke.

An ambulance brought the Chicago resident to UChicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, where the stroke was quickly identified, and life-saving emergency surgery was performed to dissolve the blood clot near his brain.

Bailey was the first pediatric stroke patient to be diagnosed using Comer's new pediatric stroke protocol. The system — designed by pediatric neurologist Henry David, MD, and pediatric critical care specialist Casey Stulce, MD — activates a team of emergency doctors to respond to a child with a stroke. They're also working to educate doctors, nurses, paramedics and parents about pediatric stroke.

See Bailey’s story and learn about ways to tell if a child could be suffering a stroke in the video above.

Mekhi Bailey
Casey Stulce

Casey Stulce, MD

Casey Stulce, MD, is a specialist in pediatric critical care medicine. She provides care for critically ill infants and children in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and pediatric sedation service.

View Dr. Stulce's physician profile
Henry David, MD

Henry David, MD

Henry David, MD, is a pediatric neurologist who specializes in neurocritical care and treats children of all ages with serious neurological conditions who require acute care to long-term treatment. He also is an expert in cerebrovascular disorders, including ischemic stokes and hemorrhagic strokes, and provides comprehensive, compassionate care to patients and their families.

Learn more about Dr. David