Stroke and Young Adult (SAYA) Program at Tufts Medical Center

Help needed to learn more about stroke and young adults.

Can you share your story?

post by David Dansereau,MSPT

David Dansereau at

A stroke is devastating at any age.  When you are forced to deal with a stroke at a young age, there are many additional challenges during your recovery.  From getting back your independence, restoring your identity and returning to life after this life changing event, there are many obstacles to overcome. Typical current models for treating and guiding individuals after their strokes often do not account for long-term survival and the unique recovery needs encountered by young adults that suffer a stroke.

With the help of experts in specialties across Tufts Medical Center, Vascular Neurologist Lester Y. Leung, MD hopes to make a difference in young stroke survivors lives and improve the model of care for young survivors.  Dr. Leung has built a comprehensive, longitudinal care program for Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) to help young adult and pediatric stroke survivors navigate their lives after stroke.

The Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) Program is built to help identify causes of your stroke, optimize prevention of future strokes, estimate your risk for recurrent stroke and late complications of stroke, and provide counseling on stroke survivorship.  Dr. Leung currently needs your help and wants to learn about your experience with stroke.

Here is a brief intro to the SAYA interview study:

Are you a stroke survivor? Did your stroke or TIA (transient ischemic attack) occur between ages 18 and 55? Dr. Lester Leung and his team at Tufts Medical Center are interviewing young and early middle age adults about their experiences with their strokes to better understand how people develop symptoms in these age ranges, how they decide to seek medical care, and how they make decisions about their health after their strokes. If you are interested in participating, please contact Dr. Leung at Interviews usually take about 30-45 minutes and can be done in person or over the telephone. The team is giving participants a $15 Amazon gift card as a sign of gratitude for participation in the study.


What do you need as a stroke survivor outside the clinic?

Outside the clinic and hospital, the SAYA Program at Tufts would like to help you connect with other stroke survivors and their families to get out of the house, share experiences, or just have some fun! They’re interested in hearing your ideas and preferences for the social/educational/support aspect of the Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) Program at Tufts Medical Center. This program is the first and only one of its kind, and we’d like to tailor it to your interests. Would you like the events to focus on being fun, or would you like an educational or support piece built in as well? What sort of things would you like to do? Let them know here.

They’ve invited you to fill out the form SAYA Social Survey. To fill it out, visit their survey here.


Learn more about Dr. Leung

Overview of SAYA Program at Tufts




What would you do?

post by David Dansereau for

A healthy 8 year old boy is playing with friends when suddenly he begins to experience severe left eye pain.  He goes to pick up the ball and his right arm isn’t cooperating, allowing the ball to continue to escape his grip.  You also notice his speech just doesn’t sound quite right.  What now?

The scenario outlined above is based upon a slide presentation by Rebecca Ischord, MD Director of the Pediatric Stroke Program at the Children’s Hospital in Pennsylvania.  I had the privledge of  attending her presentation at the International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles in February on the challenges and opportunities on detecting and educating physicians and the public about childhood stroke.

Here’s the presentation-> ISC2011childhoodstroke

If you don’t have time to view it now, (and you should if you want to really know-stroke), a quick  presentation “take-away” that  hit home was when Dr. Ischord mentioned one of the biggest barriers that needs to be overcome is the misconception that “everyone knows kids don’t have strokes”.  That one sentence always sends shivers down my spine and continues to be the motivator behind the Community Impact Grant proposal I have written for the American Stroke Association.  Now more than ever we need to find cost effective and “viral” ways of getting the word out to teach stroke awareness, beginning with our youngest Bright Minds, our kids.  If you happened to read my last post, you are aware that Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts recently cut all funding for the stroke signs and symptoms campaign in that state.  I’m sure other state budgets already have trimmed or eliminated their prevention campaigns or will soon cut off funding  in these difficult times.

Bright Minds grant proposal for stroke awareness by David Dansereau

If you want to learn more about my Bright Minds proposal, click here.

David Dansereau at