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Young boy unites with Sparrow doctor who saved his life

Young boy unites with Sparrow doctor who saved his life
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 05:32:27-04

LANSING, MI (WSYM) - — Four years ago, 8-year-old Gavin Ramirez was transported to Sparrow hospital after staff at his day care noticed he couldn't move his body.

It was a call his mom, Trisha Ockerman says she'll never forget.

"When we got there he couldn't sit up by himself, he kept falling over," said Ockerman.

Gavin was having a serious stroke at four years old. Dr. Mounzer Kassab, Neurologist at Sparrow Stroke Center, was his doctor.

"He was densely weak on the left side so he was not moving even a flinch of a muscle. So I would assume that he would be wheelchair bound for the rest of his life," said Kassab.

Dr. Kassab knew there wasn't much time to act without major damage. After consulting with Ockerman he made the quick decision to give him a strong clot-busting drug, TPA, never before used on children. He had to make an educated guess on the proper dosage.

"We just went for it with a dose what we thought was suitable for that young of an age and you know, by the grace of God he was moving within a minute and he was able to move his left side again," said Kassab.

Four years later, walking and running, Gavin returned to Sparrow to meet the doctor that saved his life and told him 'thank you'.

It was a tearful reunion for Ockerman who said she can't thank him enough.

"We're just so grateful," said Ockerman. "We'll say it I think until the day we die. He's a hero to us."