Watch: Young stroke survivors’ thrilling first ski lesson - 'he's fearless that young man'




Parents of young stroke survivors say a foundation set up to provide support for the children and their families is doing just that with great effect.

Mike Thorpe visited Cardrona ski-field while it hosted a special skiing lesson for children who've had strokes.
Source: Seven Sharp

Strokes in children are rare, but around 40 Kiwi kids are affected by them every year, mostly within the first year of life.

Seven Sharp headed up to Cardrona ski filed in Canterbury where 10-year-old Sofia Kovacs and seven-year-old Hugh Adair were having their first alpine ski lessons, as part of their involvement with the Young Stroke Thrivers Foundation.

The foundation was launched by Maria Fredatovich who had a stroke in 1996 when she was 13 years old and had to learn everything all over again.

"There was no network or someone to support me or my family, or a role model to look up to, or somebody that understood what we were going through," Ms Fredatovich told Seven Sharp.

So she launched the foundation to provide support for the kids and their families.

Sofia's dad, Tony Kovacs, said it wasn't until Maria started Young Stroke Thrivers that his family could get together with other parents and share common stories.

"Having that bonding with other parents that have been through similar experiences has been really invaluable," he said.

The parents say it's not just the physical side of skiing that's helping their children, but their confidence is growing.

Hugh's dad, Brenden Adair, said: "He's fearless that young man."

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