According to a story from People, Will Yun Lee plays Dr. Alex Park on the medical drama television series The Good Doctor. Although he isn’t a doctor in reality, Mr. Lee has had is fair share of run-ins with medical scares involving his six year old son Cash. The boy suddenly had a stroke at just three years old, leading doctors to suspect he had a form of vasculitis. However, Cash’s regimen of chemotherapy failed to work and suffered a second stroke just a few months later. The Lee’s opted to seek a second opinion which allowed them to discover the true cause of Cash’s strokes: moyamoya disease.
About Moyamoya Disease
Moyamoya disease is a rare and unusual illness which is characterized by the constriction of certain brain arteries, which ultimately restricts blood flow. Blood clots can also appear with the illness. The name of this disease is the result of the smoke-like appearance of collateral blood vessels on an x-ray that appear in an attempt to compensate for the blockage. Moyamoya means “puff of smoke” in Japanese. These collateral vessels are vulnerable to bleeding and clotting. The disease is caused by genetic mutations, with about ten percent of cases running in families. It affects women more frequently than men. Symptoms include stroke, transient ischemic attacks, headaches, convulsions, and paralysis or numbness in the extremities. Some patients do not have them. Surgical intervention is necessary to restore healthy blood flow. Blood thinners may also be useful. To learn more about moyamoya disease, click here.
The first-line treatment for this disease is brain surgery, which Cash underwent soon after he was officially diagnosed. The objective of this surgery was to rearrange the affected arteries in order to restore regular blood flow to Cash’s brain. Thankfully, the operation was a total success. Following the procedure, Cash is growing and living a relatively normal lifestyle.
Will says that the diagnosis was a frightening moment for the family. However, he credits the bond between him and his wife Jennifer Birmingham Lee for helping see them through the most difficult moments. Now that Cash is living healthily, the family are taking the opportunity to spread greater awareness about moyamoya disease, which can often go undiagnosed.