Stroke and Young Adults  (SAYA) Program
Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA

You are not alone

Most people do not realize that stroke can strike at any age: when we are at the top of our careers, when we are beginning to raise a family, when we are still in school, when we are children, or even at the moment we are born or still in the womb. Most strokes do not result in our deaths. Most of us will recover. However, many of us will be left with some disability or persistent symptoms: difficulty speaking, difficulty walking, difficulty seeing in part of our vision, stiffness or pain in our limbs, lightheadedness and dizziness, headache, fatigue or trouble staying awake, depression and anxiety, and more. This can slow us down, stop us in our tracks and keep us from fulfilling our dreams.

However, we do not have to slow down or give up. At Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA, Stroke Neurologist Lester Y. Leung, MD, MSc has built a comprehensive, longitudinal care program for young stroke survivors to help navigate our lives after stroke. This program, the Stroke and Young Adults (SAYA) program, aims to help our individual needs. In some cases, this involves digging deeper into the cause of our strokes to help understand why it happened and how it can be prevented from happening again. For some of us, we need help managing new symptoms that we have developed weeks, months, or even years after our strokes. And for many of us, the program can help guide us and coach us through our recovery as we try to get our lives back on track and towards the goals we set for ourselves long before stroke entered the picture.

The SAYA Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, MA is constantly growing and seeking to help more stroke survivors. Please contact us at 617-636-5848 if you are a stroke survivor or know one who might benefit from our program.
I'm a stroke survivor, not a stroke victim.
Our program has three aims:
1. Longitudinal clinical care
We are committed to working with you indefinitely.

2. Improving assessment, prediction, and counseling regarding risk of future stroke and late complications after stroke
Through advances in clinical care and research, we aim to reduce uncertainty about the future and anticipate problems before they emerge.

3. Guiding survivorship
We aim to coach you through the process of returning to your pre-stroke responsibilities and goals, including work, driving, child rearing, and more.
Solving the mystery of stroke at a young age
Working together with medical and surgical specialists throughout Tufts Medical Center, the Stroke Neurology team aims to help young adults with stroke uncover the causes of their strokes which are more varied and numerous than in older adults. Additionally, we will help you assess and manage unrelated conditions that may increase your risk for future stroke and other health problems. Finally, we also will help you understand how your stroke has affected you, how it may have lingering impact, and how we can work together to minimize that impact on you. 
SAYA Social Support Group
Although it may not feel this way, there are actually many young adult stroke survivors in the U.S. However, many of us are isolated or afraid to share what happened to us. The SAYA program hosts events every 2 or 3 months in the Greater Boston area to bring us and our loved ones together for informal, social gatherings. Please join us!
Stroke Fitness Club
Exercise is an incredibly important part of staying healthy and enhancing our resistance to injury, including neurologic injury from stroke. The Comprehensive Stroke Center at Tufts Medical Center hosts group fitness activities through the Stroke Fitness Club. Come learn and participate in new fitness activities!
“Dr. Leung was one of the first people who explained what was going on inside my body. He understood my feelings. I’m not used to being disabled.”
Paul King
"Katelyn Skeels was a God send to myself and my family. I suffered five strokes, and Katelyn took such great care to help all of us."
“Dr. Leung assured me that my baby and I would be OK. He was calm and kind and explained everything to me in a way I could understand. I felt secure knowing he was my neurologist.”
Mayra Gonzalez
Contact Me

(617) 636--5848

Biewend 12
260 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
If you are interested in receiving medical care as a young adult stroke survivor, please contact Dr. Leung at

If you are interested in participating in the SAYA social support group or Stroke Fitness Club, please contact Kate Skeels at

If you are interested in helping our young adult stroke program through research or philanthropic contributions, please contact Dr. Leung at
Resources for Young Stroke Survivors