The Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health sees and treats about 45,000 kids a year.

One teenager who battled a condition that frequently hits the older generation. Aaron Clift spent a summer afternoon like many other teenagers, mowing a lawn.

“I just cut what I normally (ate). (I) drank plenty of water, and I was done, and I was fine. (I) felt great actually,” Aaron recalled.

But things quickly changed for Aaron after he got home to his house in Thomaston. He told his folks he was going to grab a shower.

“I said ‘I’m thirsty, (I’m) going to go get another bottle of water,'” Aaron explained. “So I turned to walk towards the door, and my vision flashed for a second, and I panicked and I said ‘Help Mama, I can’t see,’, and I was walking toward the door and it was flashing in and out. And by the time I got to the door, I couldn’t see at all, and at that point, I couldn’t feel my left side at all.”

The teenager who never had health issues before that day found himself en route to the Children’s hospital Navicent Health to find out what was going on.

Dr. Roger Dela Cruz took care of him in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. He said Aaron suffered from a stroke. Dr. Cruz said they rarely see an otherwise healthy 17-year old suffer a full fledged stroke. They, of course, happen to senior citizens and occasionally, babies. Aaron’s mom Rose was also shocked.

“I didn’t believe it,” she said. “I didn’t believe it ’till I (saw) the MRI what had happened, and it hit me, and it still didn’t seem real,” Rose Clift said. “Even now, … I’m having a hard time thinking that just happened.”

“They hooked me up to all types of machines and put me on blood thinners and everything like that,” Aaron said.

The Children’s Hospital caters to kids and they try to make things not so scary. But Aaron is old enough to know that a lot of machines signal some serious trouble.

” I was sitting there in that hospital bed with depression and thinking ‘I don’t want to die’ and I felt God put His hand on me and say ‘It’s not your time yet,'” Aaron said with tears in his eyes.

Rose, feels maybe God steered them to the Children’s Hospital, because the stroke happened a month ago and today, Aaron is walking, talking and headed back to school.

“It’s a challenging case, but Aaron did really well. We just did supportive care and looking at him, right now, he looks really good,” Dr. Cruz said with a big grin.

He did have to give up football for this fall. “That’s a serious bummer,” Aaron said. But he cherishes his follow up visits to Macon. It’s a chance to visit with people who have become friends.

“The staff here, it’s not a job to them,” he said. “It’s personal to them. They came in and take care of you, because they actually care about the people when they come in, and that was a big part of what kept me hopeful in all of this.”

Every year the Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health treats 700 babies in the Neo-natal unit. The hospital in Macon has been affiliated with CMN since 1992.

Last year, your dollars helped the hospital purchase a Mazor Spinal Navigation System.