'Screaming': Boy left unable to walk, talk after horror ordeal
GRIFFITH Comrie's dad Todd thought his son was sleepwalking when he came into their room one morning.
Griffith complained of double-vision and a feeling of being pulled to the left.
"We thought he was drunk because he had a strange facial expressions on his face," Mr Comrie said.
Mr Comrie took his son to Gladstone Hospital where, after a number of tests, doctors believed the 10-year-old boy had suffered a brain infection.
Doctors told Mr Comrie and his wife Sonya to monitor their sone.
"So they just believed it was an infection," Mr Comrie said.
"And we just went along and thought that as well - none the wiser.
"And then, unfortunately, the second one happened."
The next time, Griffith was slurring his speech as he walked in the door of their home, asking if he could sleep at his friend's house.
Mr Comrie told Griffith to take a lollipop out of his mouth, but they knew something was wrong when he continued slurring.
"His speech was severely slurred and we just bundled him up and took him to the hospital," he said.
"There were significant signs that something wasn't right."
A MRI scan revealed their little boy had suffered two strokes.
The family are now trying to warn people about the early signs of stroke and the need to act quickly.
According to the Stroke Foundation, 13 in every 100,000 Australian children suffer a stroke.
Doctors explained to Mr Comrie that one of the two arteries that runs along Griffith's spinal cord had torn which caused a clot that moved to his head.
"But what caused that tear in the first place they said, 'you'll never know'," Mr Comrie said.
"It could have been a bump, or anything."
Griffith and dad Todd speak about hit worst fear in hospital
Mr Comrie said their once-energetic little boy could not support his own weight and had to re-learn how to walk and talk.
"When he first made noises we told him he sounded like Chewbacca," he said.
"That's how he used to communicate.
"Then he spoke one or two words, but quite often he'd just do thumbs up because it was too hard to speak.
"But then eventually words came back, and then it was a question, and then a sentence, so it all came back bit by bit."
Mr Comrie said Griffith had recovered significantly physically with multiple visits each week to an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, and a psychologist.
He said he'd come from needing a step-by-step sign on the wall of the toilet to doing most things on his own.
However Mr Comrie said his son still had some way to go, to mentally recover.
"We believe at the moment he's slipped back a couple of years," he said.
"Instead of a 10-year-old, we've got a seven or eight-year-old at times, in terms of behaviour.
"But we're working on it."
Mr Comrie said the part his son hated most about the whole ordeal was the needles.
"They had to have four people hold him down while they gave him the injection twice a day," he said.
"But over time he got better because he had to have that over three months. He had to calm himself and then he'd let us do it -- just him and me.
"But initially four people and a lot of screaming."