- Written by Ellie Coleman
“Everybody loves Patch,” Jennifer Angerame, Patch’s mom, told Senator Richard Blumenthal yesterday. With a smile that lights up the room and eyes filled with wonder, it’s easy to see why. “He’s the man,” Blumenthal agreed as he beamed down at Patrick “Patch” Angerame. The vivacious five-year old, younger brother of Michael and Katie, suffered a stroke before he was born.
Senator Blumenthal visited Patch and his family at their Wilton home to thank them in person for sharing their story with him, and for raising awareness about Pediatric Strokes. “Patch’s experience gave additional meaning to what I’ve done in Senate and was a defining moment in my career,” admitted Blumenthal, who will introduce a resolution this month recognizing May as Pediatric Stroke Awareness Month.
Brian Angerame, Patch’s father, says that therapies and programs introduced when Patch was just nine months, have enabled his son to improve by “leaps and bounds”. Unfortunately, Patch’s therapy, and his recovery, were jeopardized when his medical insurance company began to cut their benefits “inappropriately” according to Brian. Jennifer explains, “Our health insurance company was basing their coverage on adult stroke victims”. Patch did not qualify for coverage under what she described as “their medical equation”.
Pediatric Strokes are real. According to the National Stroke Association, strokes occur in about one of every 4,000 live births and are one of the top 10 causes of death for children. Blumenthal believes that denying families like Patch’s the assistance they need can impede a child’s ability to live a normal life. “I was compelled and honored to help,” he states.
Strokes affect children much differently than adult victims, although adult stroke victims may need to re-learn certain skills, Patch had to learn how to perform these skills for the first time. “One of his therapists describes the process as abilitation as opposed to rehabilitation,” explained Jennifer.
Despite his difficulties, Patch’s dad proudly says, “There is nothing Patch won’t do or try.”
Patch’s parents believe that his progress can be attributed to receiving therapy multiple times a week. According to Jennifer, Patch sees two different oral motor therapists, an occupational therapist, and a craniosacral therapist, among others.
Patch has also been enrolled in Preschool Services (AKA the Miller-Driscoll School) in Wilton and the Birth to Three System of Connecticut, programs that were “off the charts helpful” according to Brian.
Read more on HamletHub.com/Ridgefield