A hero dad has described the terrifying moment his son became Britain’s youngest stroke victim – after he diagnosed the condition thanks to a TV advert.
Phil Kerman, 39, said he was horrified when he found his 19-month-old son Ronnie ‘unresponsive’ and ‘floppy’ in his crib.
The tot, who is a twin with brother Robert, was rushed to hospital where the couple’s “worst nightmare” was realised that Ronnie had a cysts and a tumour on his brain.
Doctors are now racing against time to drain the cysts to save the tot’s life after the grim tumour discovery – which has also left the infant partially sighted.
Dad-of-three Phil, of Hull, East Yorks., said: “I went into his room and he wasn’t stood up in his crib like he normally is.
“He was laid down and I lifted one arm up and then his leg and they both had gone floppy.
“I laid him down to crawl because he can’t walk yet and he couldn’t crawl.
“I immediately thought he’d had a stoke and remembered one of those TV adverts and I told my wife Louise to phone and ambulance.”
Scans showed ‘a dark patch’ on his brain after being taken to Hull Royal Infirmary on February 2, which turned out to be two cysts and a tumour on his brain.
He was then transferred to Leeds LGI hospital the same day where they confirmed the find and medics revealed that was the cause of the stroke.
Stents have been placed on his brain to drain the cysts as doctors diagnosed Ronnie with Neurofibromatosis – a genetic disorder that causes tumours to form on nerve cells.
Phil, who says he also suffers from the a milder form of the conditon, said: “We are just praying that Ronnie can recover from this, his brother Robert is worried and is not old enough to know what is going on.
“We’ve been at Leeds hospital now for over a week and we are all anxious to know what is next.
“It has come as a shock because there was no difference in his personality, he cried a bit more than his brother, but we thought it was because he was teething.
“I feel heartbroken and I keep blaming myself wondering if there was anything else I could do.
“Luckily I spotted the stroke symptoms straight away, and even though strokes are more common in adults – parents should know the symptoms.”
Ronnie will undergo an operation to remove part of the tumour on February 19, before having a year-long dose of chemotherapy to shrink it.