There was little doubt in Alishia Hicks’s mind that her 17-year-old son was having a stroke as a staffer at the Henderson Upper School in Dorchester conveyed his symptoms to her over the phone: The staffer reported the teen was feeling light headed and the left side of his body was numb.
Hicks, who was in bed with the flu in her Mattapan home and who uses a wheelchair, told the staffer to call an ambulance and get her son to a hospital fast. She stressed there was a history of strokes in their family. But the staffer, she said, insisted an ambulance wasn’t necessary and that Hicks should pick him up herself. Someone at the school then reported Hicks to the state Department of Children and Families, according to the mother.
In the end, Hicks said, her son, who’s on the autism spectrum, was taken to Tufts Medical Center where it was determined he had a stroke and a medical team removed a blood clot from his brain.