Child paralyzed by stroke making strikes

By: Patty McAlpin, Reporter
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To donate: An account titled Hope for Sunnie has been set up at U.S. Bank, which has branches in Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville.

Lincoln’s U.S. Bank is located at 525 McBean Park Drive.

Sunnie Hoekstra of Lincoln is making strikes since she suffered a stroke almost three weeks ago.

“Yeah” was her first word, her mom, Arielle Hoekstra said.

“She gets a little better every day,” Sunnie’s mom said.

The 3-year-old was treated with blood thinners for a clot on a very small vein deep in the brain near the brain stem that likely caused the stroke. She has been at U.C. Davis since Nov. 1 for rehabilitation. She will probably be there four to six weeks before she will be ready to go home, her mom said.

The stroke paralyzed the right side of Sunnie’s body.

Sunnie is receiving speech, occupational and physical therapy.

She is holding her head up and able to sit up with some support. She ate half a yogurt the other day, her mom said.

“I have not noticed more movement on her right side,” Arielle Hoekstra, 22, said. “We hold her up and help her move her legs. She wants to walk by herself but she’s not strong enough to stand up.”

Asked how she’s doing, Arielle Hoekstra said her daughter is super happy when visitors come to see her, but she sometimes becomes depressed when she can’t express herself the way she would like to.

“She gets frustrated when she’s not able to say things she knows,” Arielle Hoekstra said.

Asked what Sunnie might need when she goes home, her mom said she’s not sure yet, but “it looks like she will need medical supplies like crutches and a wheelchair. But for now the hospital is providing everything.”

Arielle Hoekstra said things have been stressful, but in two weeks Sunnie is “so much better. It’s nice to see improvements already. It makes me think with time she will be OK Things will be a little different but she’s still a smart girl who understands everything.”

A bank account was set up at U.S. Bank, which has branches in Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville to help the family cover medical expenses. Anyone who would like to help can donate to Hope for Sunnie.

A percentage of proceeds from a book fundraiser ending Dec. 31 also go toward the Hope for Sunnie fund. The link is Books can be order for Sunnie, a school, or a child or grandchild. If anyone places an order for Sunnie to receive a book, please ship the order to 454 J St., Lincoln, CA 95648.  

A local photographer named Stacey Marsh has offered to donate s photo session and prints to Arielle Hoekstra once Sunnie is feeling better.