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St. Ignatius baseball player's recovery from stroke has family thankful during the holidays

Robbie Boyce suffered a rare stroke, but his survival and recovery is miraculous and inspirational.

BROADVIEW HEIGHTS, Ohio — Do you believe in miracles? A Broadview Heights family certainly does, and during this holiday season has plenty to be thankful for.

The Boyce family will never forget Sept. 14, 2020, the day 16-year-old Robbie suffered a near-fatal stroke while working out. The sophomore at Saint Ignatius High School was taken to the hospital, where they determined he needed to be taken by medical helicopter to Cleveland Clinic.

His parents Christine and Joe saw no signs that this could happen to their son. His diagnosis wat not normal.      

"Robbie had a very rare type of stroke called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is bleeding at the base of the brain," Dr. Mark Bain of the Cleveland Clinic said.

Praying for a miracle, the Boyce family was fearful he may never recover; that he could die

"Robbie's aneurysm that formed from this tear in the artery is extremely rare," Bain noted. "We see it very few times per year."

Robbie survived emergency brain surgery to seal off the aneurysm, but was still in a coma. It took five days for him to wake up and 19 days for them to realize he could have a normal life again, when he finally moved his toe. 

On Oct. 14, 30 days later, Robbie was released from the Cleveland Clinic.

"He's alive, therefore by definition everything is going to be fine," his father Joe said. "Where he's at today? Unbelievable."

Robbie says he's basically 100% back. It took a lot of hard work to regain his strength, to learn to walk again and catch up in school. A nearly photographic memory before, he has to study more now and take notes to keep up in his honors classes. By the spring of 2021 he was also back on the field playing his favorite sport, baseball, with his Wildcat teammates.

Robbie said he couldn't have done it alone, and now hopes to be an inspiration to others.   

"If anyone has anything similar happen to them, I really hope they are able to see this story and know there is hope." he stated. 

Robbie doesn't remember the day he had the stroke, while his dad will never forget it. Together, one thing is clear: Neither will ever take another day for granted.

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