When Slate May, an active, inquisitive, talkative 2-year-old, lost his ability to talk in July 2010, his parents, Courtney and Heath, rushed him to Children's Medical Center Plano. Doctors quickly diagnosed Slate as having had a stroke.
The root cause of Slate's stroke was Moyamoya disease, a rare, progressive cerebrovascular disorder caused by blocked arteries at the base of the brain in an area called the basal ganglia. "Moyamoya" means "puff of smoke" in Japanese and describes the look of the tangle of tiny vessels formed to compensate for the blockage.
After surgeries on both sides of his brain, Slate can walk and talk again. However, three more strokes last year (two severe and one small) and a string of ministrokes point to a problem yet undiscovered.
"We're extremely grateful for everything that Children's has done for our family," says Courtney, "and we trust them with Slate's ongoing care."