Antiphospholipid Syndrome: Two Strokes by Age 25

According to a story from the Bognor Regis Observer, 25 year old Kieren Rogers had his first stroke last August. It was a minor event, but he still needed to take some time off work. By November, he seemed to be nearly fully recovered; he was back at work and had resumed his regular running routine. Unfortunately for him, his life was thrown into turmoil again on January 7 when had another more serious stroke. These strokes were caused by a rare disease that he lives with called antiphospholipid syndrome.

About Antiphospholipid Syndrome

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is an autoimmune condition in which the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies increases a patient’s risk of dangerous blood clots and complications in pregnant women. The condition can appear on its own (primary) or can occur alongside another disease state (secondary). The main risk factor for primary antiphospholipid syndrome is the HLA-DR7 genetic marker. Risk factors for the secondary form include the genetic markers HLA-B8, HLA-DR3, and HLA-DR2, the presence of other autoimmune disorders such as lupus, and non-white racial ancestry. Symptoms of antiphospholipid syndrome include blood clotting events such as a stroke or deep vein thrombosis, livedo reticularis (skin discoloration), low platelet count, migraine headaches, heart valve disease, oscillating field of vision, and pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth. Treatment approaches for antiphospholipid syndrome include aspirin, warfarin, plasmapheresis, and low molecular weight heparin. To learn more about antiphospholipid syndrome, click here.

Kieren’s Story

He was at home with his girlfriend playing computer games when suddenly his hand got heavy and he couldn’t move the mouse. When he tried to speak, incoherent gibberish blabbered forth. The ischemic stroke caused him slurred speech and weakness on his right side.

“I just put my head in my hands and burst into tears because I knew what was happening.” – Kieren

Unfortunately, strokes impact a higher number of younger people than the general public realizes; about a fourth of them impact people of working age. Kieren has had to enter another, more difficult period of recovery. His walking is almost back to normal and he recently went swimming again for the first time since his last stroke. 

Mr. Rogers has also received support from the Stroke Association, which helps people who have suffered strokes recover and rebuild their lives. Mr. Rogers started a fundraiser for the organization last November. Click here to donate.

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