Our Inspiration

Ayanna Noelani Emiko Bradford

Ayanna Noelani Emiko (ANE) Bradford was born on the 2nd day of May 2006 to Brian and Mandy Bradford at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas; and for the first 5 years of her life, Ayanna, also known as “Yaya”, lived a normal and healthy life, surrounded by her parents and siblings (Valerie, Brandon, and Alyssa) who loved her dearly. 

On the morning of June 2, 2011, the day of Yaya’s Pre-K graduation and one day preceding a fun filled weekend of camping with family, Yaya experienced something many would never perceive as an event that could directly affect the life of an infant or child; she suffered a severe right-side ischemic stroke believed to have been triggered by a clot formation consequent of Myocarditis caused by the rare attack on her heart by Parvovirus B19.

With Yaya’s world, and that of her family’s, moving into an abyss of uncertainty, many questions regarding atypical who’s, why’s, what’s, and when’s existed.  Often referring to the internet for answers and in search of organizations whose mission is focused on matters pertaining to pediatric stroke, whether associated with awareness, research, or general support for children, families, and treatment facilities in need, consequent pediatric stroke affects; the Bradford’s witnessed a significant need and chose to embark upon the opportunity to increase visibility pertaining to the prevalence and warning signs associated with pediatric stroke in addition to providing various forms of support to children and families who have been affected by this most unfortunate event.   

Following a stay of over 200 days and nights at Cook Children’s Medical Center (Fort Worth, Texas) and Children’s Medical Center (Dallas, Texas), during which a variety of treatments and medical procedures, including a decompressive craniectomy, echocardiograms, CAT Scans, MRIs, multiple endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatograms (ERCP), magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP), a cholecystectomy, biliary and pancreatic stenting, a choledochojejunostomy (Roux-en-Y), and a titanium cranioplasty, Yaya was released from the hospital to return home and into Kindergarten, from which she successfully graduated on May 30, 2012. 

Since Yaya’s discharge, she continues to make progress daily, while undergoing physical, occupational, and swim therapy weekly; and she continues to be a walking inspiration for the ANE Pediatric Stroke Foundation and many others.     

Learn more about Yaya's journey by visiting www.ayannasjourney.com

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