FEATURE | Posted April 10, 2014

Pediatric patient recovers from stroke

UC Davis gives Cadence Stamper the care and confidence to run and dance again

During her summer break last year, then-7-year-old Orangevale resident Cadence Stamper experienced something very few children ever do — a stroke.

“She had woken up in the middle of the night complaining of a headache,” said her mother, Amy Stamper.

By the next morning, she was paralyzed on her left side and unable to sit, stand or walk.

That was until she spent the rest of her summer at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. Over the course of six weeks, a team that included occupational, physical and speech therapists, physicians, nurses and child life specialists helped the gymnastics enthusiast to regain strength and mobility.

“Because of UC Davis’ doctors, therapists and the best nurses you could ask for, Cadence and our family had the support we needed to stay strong and hopeful,” Amy Stamper said. “Most importantly, they helped give Cadence the confidence she needed to walk again.”

Cadence Stamper, brother and friend
Cadence Stamper (center) finished the Miracle Mile at the SACTOWN 10 with brother Tristan and friend Ava Ralls.

Cadence’s nurses encouraged her to work hard, praised her efforts, helped her maintain a positive attitude and lifted her spirits, often through high-fives in the hallways.

When Cadence was discharged, she was able to walk out of the hospital on her own.

This month, Cadence laced up her sneakers and met the milestone that she and her family had set when she was in the hospital: She ran in her school’s jogathon.

“We had created flyers that said, ‘She will run again,’ and we were thinking about the jogathon. It’s so amazing to see this dream come true!” said Amy Stamper.

Cadence continues to give back to the children’s hospital that did so much for her by being an ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network at UC Davis. She danced in the Davis Dance Marathon in February and ran the Miracle Mile at the Sactown 10 on April 6 to raise money for UC Davis Children’s Hospital.