WHEN little Lexi Johnson complained of pain, her parents thought she was suffering a dead leg.
But, when her face suddenly drooped and her speech became slurred they rushed the toddler to hospital.
They were shocked when tests revealed their then two-year-old had actually suffered a stroke.
Mum Amy Martin, 20, and dad Alex Johnson said they want other parents to know, though rare, strokes can affect kids.
Amy said: “I kept thinking I might have done something wrong, I want people to know it’s possible.
“It’s so rare no one really knows about it happening in children.
“When you think of the word stroke you think of an old person, not a child.”
The first sign something was wrong came four months ago when Lexi began to walk “funny”.
“We thought she had a dead leg,” Amy, from Billingham explained.
As a result, she said they thought nothing of it.
But just half an hour later, Lexi’s face drooped, prompting the couple to take their daughter to A&E.
There doctors performed a series of tests, and admitted Lexi, who has since turned three, to the children’s ward.
She was sent for a CT scan, which found a blood clot in Lexi’s brain that was depriving her of oxygen.
Alex Johnson and Amy Martin took Lexi to hospital after her speech slurred and one side of her face drooped
Lexi was then transferred to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
More tests were performed before doctors discovered the stroke was caused by the blood vessels around Lexi’s brain being too narrow.
Amy, a stay-at-home mum, said: “I said at the time it looked like she was having a stroke but I never thought it actually was.
I kept thinking I might have done something wrong, I want people to know it’s possible. It’s so rare no one really knows about it happening in children
“It’s heartbreaking. I think it’s because it was such a big shock – she was fine before that.
“It has taken her a while to build her strength back up.”
Alex, 22, a mechanical technician, said: “She kept falling over and we were laughing at her because we thought she had a dead leg.
“She just started slurring and she was carrying her right arm as well.”
The couple were shocked to find their two-year-old had suffered a stroke
Lexi’s right side was weakened after the stroke, and she started to use her left hand to write and draw.
Her speech was also affected and she has had to learn to talk again in full sentences.
Amy said: “One minute she was herself and then she said her leg was hurting, but she couldn’t tell us exactly how it felt.
“I just want people to keep a look out for the usual symptoms.
“It was like the right hand side of her body had moved.”
Lexi, who loves dressing up as a princess, is now three and seems to remember little about her ordeal.
One thing her hospital stay has left her with is an obsession with doctors, her parents said.