A Vernon teenager is on the long road to recovery after suffering a stroke last month, and friends and family are pushing for support.
Chelsea Roszell, 17, was at home on a day off from school on Remembrance Day when her mother heard an odd noise from her room upstairs. She found Roszell lying contorted on the floor, as though having a seizure, unable to cry for help.
Roszell was rushed to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, where it was discovered she’d suffered a life-threatening stroke due to a blood clot in her brain.
“She was unresponsive when she arrived and was immediately whisked into surgery,” says Corrine Erickson, Chelsea’s aunt, who started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the costs of her rehabilitation.
Her condition was so dire there was no time to airlift her to the Vancouver hospital, Erickson said, and so she was transferred to Kelowna, where doses of Heparin (a blood thinner) managed to save young Chelsea’s life.
“Miraculously Chelsea is almost back to perfect health physically but has a long road to go to reach full mental healing,” says Erickson. “Cognitively she ranges from toddler to teenager and thus it is not safe to her leave her alone.”
Roszell’s mother had to stay with her in hospital for an extended period out of fear that she might not be allowed re-entry due to COVID-19 protocols.
The teen, described by her aunt as beautiful, vibrant and motivated, was discharged from hospital on Nov. 27, and her mother is staying home full time to care for her.
Because of her age, Erickson says Roszell is not eligible for the kinds of support usually available to those recovering from a stroke, as she’s stuck between adult and pediatric programs.
“There will likely be a lot of out of pocket expenses to make sure she gets the best rehab possible,” she said.
The family will have to cover expenses for medication, online schooling (Erickson says Roszell is determined to graduate on time), therapy and home renovations to accommodate her at-home treatment.
“Any help you can give will help this motivated, stubborn and talented teenager move towards her goals of graduation and independence will be greatly appreciated,” said Erickson, who in a Nov. 29 update to the GoFundMe page said the community’s response has been encouraging so far.
“Life is crazy, but we have been so blessed by such an amazing army of support. We can feel the love from everyone. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”
The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $7,000 of its $20,000 goal as of Wednesday evening, Dec. 9.