In February of 1993, my wife and I drove to Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago so that she could give birth to our baby. After 48 hours of labor, my wife still had not dilated enough to give birth. Her doctor performed a cesarean section and our beautiful little girl was born. Two days later I snuck out of work to go see my wife. As I was getting ready to leave I told her I was not coming in that night, I wanted to clean the house and get it ready for she and our daughter to come home. When I got home from work that night a message was on our recorder from her old boss. The two apparently were talking on the phone when my wife said 'Oh my God, I'm getting a terrible headache.' The next thing that happened was the telephone hit the floor. The nurses ran in with a crash cart and the doctor was able to stabilize her enough to transfer her to ICU. There she lied with all the tubes of a respirator and cooling bags connected to her body. She died 2 days later. I came home with my daughter a complete mess. Mothers day is one we had been looking forward to. WE never got to spend that day together and it is still one of the most difficult days of the year for me. I never stopped to grieve her loss and internal anger was eating me from inside. I began writing a novel telling our love story so that our daughter might get to know her mom through my heart and eyes. I stopped writing for long periods of time because of the pain. After hearing Todd on Glenn Becks morning show the piece gave me the strength I needed to complete my love story which in turn did for more than I had hoped. Completing my book has turned into a success on many fronts, my daughter now knows her mom. The biggest success is my anger is gone. The healing had taken place and I live once again in complete joy. Journaling was the most powerful tool in healing and I recommend it to anyone facing grief from loss of a loved one. Our daughter is 24 and as beautiful as her mom. Every year on mothers day she makes mothers day special by wishing me a Happy Mothers Day, after all, I am not only her dad, but her mom too. Thank you Todd and Glenn for broadcasting the segment you did. Bill Schwab Fernley, Nevada
So sad to read all these stories of those who have passed and happy to read about all the survivors. My sister JoAnn, who I also considered my best friend, passed away 14 years ago this month from a ruptured brain aneurysm. She had no idea this was coming. It was very devastating to our family. She was in a coma for almost two weeks before the family had to make the decision to let her go. What was so odd about this story is I have another sister that we knew had one at this same time. She has had hers coiled but she also suffered a brain bleed in another part of her brain. That brain bleed left her with some disability, the loss of most of her vision. My sisters neurologist urged the 3 remaining siblings to get an MRI to see if we were all ok since it seemed to run in the family. Unfortunately one of us was found to have one, ME. It is a very small one that my neurologist says has a VERY LOW chance of rupture if it remains small so they test me to make sure it does not grow. At first I was going annually, now every two years. Having this in my head makes me feel like I have a ticking time bomb in my head but I have to trust my neurosurgeon on this. Who knows, the surgery is dangerous so why take that chance also. I had no idea about this Lisa story but I will for sure be praying for car 52 at all races. Marlene
I was in the hospital and rehab for 3 months, following a ruptured brain aneurysm on Sept 15, 2015, and 3 surgeries, ICU etc. Came home on Dec16, 2015. Lots of doctor stuff and follow-up etc. Had lots of PT, Speech therapy etc. Feeling better each day! Recently passed my driving test. 2016 was a terrible year! But I am Blessed and glad to have survived. Every day that I live is indeed a Gift. I've been healing very well, and have been lucky. I have some wonderful doctors. My dr.'s and ICU nurses are so impressed with my healing, that I was asked to record a Patient Testimonial for the hospital, which I recently did, in this 2-minute video: https://www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/neurosciences/neurosciences-patient-stories/
Hi! I am a proud aneurysm survivor since 2003. I was coiled at Cedar Sinai in Los Angeles, CA. I am very lucky that I have very little complications. I still get ridiculously awful migraines and I still have to take it slow more often than I tell my friends and family. But, I am very happy with my life post-aneurysm. I feel like I have a chance to help others and that's my goal. I wish no one should ever suffer an aneurysm. I hope this website leads to more awareness and more people saved.
I'm a 24 year old model living in Chicago, IL. In hair and makeup at a Fashion show last year, my neck was cranked back in an uncomfortable position. As a model, I'm used to feeling uncomfortable so it did not occur to me that this could be life threatening at the time. Less than two weeks after the fashion show, I experienced what I thought was my first migraine. I have a family history of migraines, so at the time I assumed it was only a migraine. When my headache didn't go away in 24 hours, I went to my doctor to see if she could give me something for pain relief. I went home with some strong medication , but it did not help. That night, I woke up with the most severe headache on my right side temple. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Along with the headache, my legs ached from my waist down. I decided to go to the hospital because I was in so much pain. At the hospital, the nurse told me I was experiencing a bad migraine. I felt stupid for going to the hospital for a migraine, something my mom deals with in the once a month. The nurse did not have an explanation for my aching legs, which at the time was as painful as the headache. I knew something wasn't right, but was having a hard time explaining what I was feeling. When the doctor came in, he immediately ordered a CT scan. The CT scan appeared to show bleeding in my brain, so he ordered an MRI to better understand what was going on. As it turns out, I had a dissection in my neck. I stayed in the hospital until I was stable, and now go in every few months to have the dissection monitored. When trying to figure out how this could have happened (I'm young and otherwise very healthy), the neurologist asked if I had recently had my hair done. I thought back to the fashion show and knew it must have been triggered by the uncomfortable position my neck was in. The biggest take away for me is that brain aneurysms are often missed because many people (including doctors) may think the pain they are experiencing is only a migraine. Understanding warning signs and not being afraid to go into the hospital is the message I would like to spread to all ages. If you experience these symptoms, you should ask a doctor to prove that it isn't an aneurysm. Doing so could save your life.
Hi... while I've never had an aneurysm I thought I'd share my story. In August of 1977 my grandmother was out shopping with my mother for her senior year of high school. While my mom was trying on a pair of bell bottomed jeans, my grandmother suffered a fatal brain aneurysm and passed away 30 seconds later. This was always an awful day in my family because it was the day that my grandmother left us. My mother grew up, got married, had two boys..... and at 35 she got pregnant with another baby... this time a girl! When she went in for her 6 month visit she got a due date on October 5th 1995... my grandmothers birthday! How exciting to think that her baby girl could share a birthday with her mother; Who had been gone for 18 years. Unfortunately, my mother went in to labor three months early and although I was due on my grandmothers birthday (Octodber 5th) I came on August 19th... eighteen years to the date that she had passed away. Ann Massey has only ever been described as a saint and and an angel and I am so blessed to share my story with her as I turn 22 years young this year. I am Massey Ann.... due on my grandmothers birthday and coming 3 months early... born 18 years to the date that she passed away. I am living, breathing, thriving proof that hope is alive and manifests itself in the most precious ways. I feel a part of me carries Ann Massey with me; I feel that she and I are one and the same. I hope that suriviors and mourners alike can learn the heal from my story. It has saved me more than once.
I'm 40 yrs old, 2 weeks ago I had a 6mm berry aneurysm coiled. My grandfather died of a brain aneurysm and my mother had one that ruptured a week before her 50th birthday. Unfortunately she is now paralyzed on her right side. I had no symptoms, I get scanned every 7 yrs and this time one was found. My neurosurgeon thinks I've had it approx 5 yrs. if you have family members with aneurysms INSIST your doctor order a scan. My aneurysm was on my carotid artery near my optic nerve. . These are usually easily treated if caught early enough. Don't put getting scanned, it can be the difference between life and death
April 5th 2005, my brain aneurysm ruptured while I was in a church helping out at a funeral. I was 47 years old and had no idea I had this time bomb in my brain until "I got the worst headache of my life." A sudden, relentless headache like no other that I equate to being hit by a ballbat. I instinctively put my hand to the back of my head. When there was no visible blood, I knew something major was wrong internally. The popping sound and sensation of blood dripping was the aneurysm burst I had felt moments prior. Before passing out, I made my way down the stairs and to the outside church steps. Someone noticed my abrupt departure and sent the pastor and a church elder to look for me. Long story short, I wound up at NSLIJ now Northwell Health in Manhassett, Long Island NY. I would be there for twenty days with great neuro surgeons, nurses and support staff. My brain aneurysm was Fusiform, a ba with no neck. Stents were not in use yet, so my entire artery was coiled shut. Somehow, the blood flow found another way to get where it had to go. I'm now a twelve year surviver in the lucky 20% that survive unscathed. One month after the rupture, I was back to bicycling. Week six after the ba, I was back to local driving. Mine is an unusual and very lucky case of survival and recovery and I'm grateful for that. I did have symptoms prior but ignored them. Why, because I was busy taking care of my elderly parents. My father was terminally ill and died eight months after my ba incident. My mother also had issues and is now in assisted living. My symptoms included: stiff neck, a drooping right eyelid and visual disturbances. Apparently, I was having preliminary mini bleeds that clogged the brain's natural drainage of cerebral/spinal cord fluid. As a result, this fluid started draining through my kidneys. I was constantly looking for restrooms. This is not a symptom I see mentioned. The condition I had was called Hydrocephalus aka "water on the brain" in addition to the the ba rupture that was brewing. In addition to the coiling, I also had a permanent brain shunt put in for drainage. If you're reading this and are experiencing any of these symptoms, run, don't walk to your doctor immediately! Remember to take care of yourself when experiencing strange health symptoms. My putting myself last, almost cost me my life; almost cost my daughter who was thirteen at the time, her mother and almost cost my husband, his wife. I never went on disability, but I did retire three years ago at 56 after working as a children's traffic safety instructor. I'm being treated for high blood pressure. As a result, I avoid stressful situations and people as much as possible. Something that's perfectly OK, when possible, in order to keep calm and stay alive.
My mother passed away from a brain aneurysm at age 36. My mother had a horrible, horrible headache and took Advil and tried to sleep it off. She woke up in the middle of the night and was unable to breathe. She then passed away the next day in the hospital. This foundation is doing something really important, by making sure people know the signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm. I wish my mother and I would've known the signs, she could be here today.
Thanks to me constantly complaining to my neuros for over a year and trying last hope botox they referred me for an MRA and thanks to Dr Wisoff VP shunt surgery refwrred me to Dr. Riina who saved my life clipped2 out of 4 since others were too small. Dont ignore anything that isnt right
In 2010, I displayed numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. Due to my complicated medical history, my internist and hepatologist referred me to a neurologist. I had light sensitivity, occasional headaches, heat on the right side of my face, etc. The neurologist as a precaution sent me for an MRI. On my birthday I received what turned out to be the best present in hindsight. I had 2 aneurysms. One was nearly 10mm, the other 3mm. Both located on the same side. I was immediately scheduled with the neurosurgeons. In the interim, I had an MRA and a CT & an angiogram followed. I was not a candidate for coiling. Within a month I had a crainiotomy to remove both aneurysms. Surgery was predicted to be 4 to 5 hours. The large one was very complicated. I was in surgery for 7 hours. I was lucky there were no complications. In 48 from start to finish I was home. It was frightening to be released knowing your head was just opened 2 days ago. I was one of the lucky ones in the recovery area. So many others were there for much longer than I. When I a arrived home I was happy to have survived but frightened & sad at the same time. As time went on I felt lucky. In 2013, I had an angiogram to assess the stability of the clips and if any new aneurysms developed. Due to the complicated nature of my aneurysms I am at risk for more in the future. I am due for my next angiogram in 2018. I worry whether our son will inherit my vast array of medical issues. My hope is he will never. My family, friends & doctors were crucial to my recovery as they encouraged me to make progress at every turn. I feel extremely lucky everyday. I am thankful to all who have cared for me. Moral of this story is never take your symptoms lightly and always be your best advocate for your health! Laugh everyday. Live life to the fullest as you never know what tomorrow will bring!
1 month before my anurisim burst I started haveing dizzy spells while driving and had to pull over a few times I went to my doctor and was diagnosed withHigh Blood pressure, then I had a W H O M L the against my dr's advise I went on vacation upon returning I was at work and had another Headach and collasped, the next thing I knew I was being picked up by a ambulance and taken (regretfully ) to a genral hospital where I was not diagnosed correctly and had another episode that night then a neuro surgeon saw me and sent me to a more advanced hospital where I had a M R I and following that a operation to clamp off the bleeder all this caused me to have a stroke and after much PT here I am 20 years later paralized on my left side but thankfully able to read and think
I suddenly went unconscious. Early evening of Dec. 18, 1993, My fiance found me on the floor unresponsive. I had no pulse or heartbeat. He called 911 and he administered CPR. Paramedics used a defibulator and got my heart started. Rushed me to the neatest hospital. I was in surgery for 8 hours. I was in the hospital for 3 months. I had extensive therapy for just about everything. Recovery was a rough trip. Loss of friends, finances, my husband (the fiance married me post Aneurysm). Now 23 years later I am living on my own. The aneurysm happened when I lived in California. I did have those "worst headaches of my life" a couple months before the rupture, but doctors said it was stress. If only this information had been available in 1993, the aneurysm may have been found and treated before it ruptured and I nearly lost my life. The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation is an answer from God. Thank you for letting me share.
Hola... desde el 28 de marzo y diagnosticada con aneurisma, ayer me realizaron una panangiografia cerebral y observaron que mi aneurisma está al interior del nacimiento de dos arterias. Me informaron que mi caso es complicado y todo indica que en Colombia no hay estudios ni los medios para salvarme. Tengo antecedentes familiares de ruptura de aneurisma mi abuela y un primo hermano por línea paterna fallecieron de aneurisma. Tengo dos hijas y me siento muy mal. Necesito ayuda y por eso acudo a ustedes
Jan.21st. 2005...I'm teaching getting ready for giving an exam.... I tell my co workers "I feel off today!" Bad snow storm...getting home I call my young kids home to help shovel...I'm shoveling when it starts to bleed....so true ; the pain is so severe ; I'm in a daze. I call inside to call 911. My nephew died 8 months prior with a brain aneurysm. He was 27 ; I'm 37 and I tell the dispatcher "I'm having an aneurysm!" They thought I was on drugs; not the case ! I had surgery after they kept me in a medical coma...it did not work. My family was told to take me home to die. It was too severe. My family refused! So UW MADISON in Wisconsin flew home Dr. DEMPSY aka "God" (one nurse told me that was his nickname from neiro staff) he performed an exploratory and newer bypass surgery at the time....it worked. I had a stroke due to also being full of Clots in both lungs and left leg. I was in that coma for just under 2 months....I believe it saved me...I was in ICU And stayed for 10 days of extended rehab. I was Back teaching Special Education students that summer school session. I was determined to survive. My children were in middle and high school. They both deal with medical issues...We know due to hereditary history...My father had an aneurysm....My aunt (dads sister) and my dad's brother had major life threatening issues with the brain. Unfortunately my nephew had no warning signs that he shared; he lived in California at the time. But his father; my brother had a clote enter his heart. He died a year later of a massive heart attach. I tell people...trust your gut ! Listen to your body; listen to God. Today I have several stints in my blood vessels working to repair an aneurysm and this past November an Angogram found anther small aneurysm. I deal with constant pain, stiff neck, headaches, nausea, light sensitivity, pain behind the eyes, nerve damage from stroke, I've had a seizure and must live a life with uncertainty. BUT, my life is AWESOME. I work at a non profit for adults with disabilities( I'm even the Coordinator) I love to paint and I do my best to live a good life ~for me and my husband and two grown and married children. I'm even a Grandma~ life is what we make it~ I choose to make mine count ! God Bless you all and please continue to share and educate others. Our Brains are amazing so treat them AMAZINGLY Great !!!!
My mother died from a brain aneurysm in 1967 when I was only 11 years ago. My two sisters and I had mri's throughout our adult lives whenever we would visit our drs and complain of having headaches. 5 years ago my 58 year old sister who lived alone did not show up for work. When the EMT's got to her aneurysm had already burst. She died 5 days later- boy do I miss her. As a result we were all advised my siblings --2 brothers, myself and another sister---to be tested for aneurysms. I did and was found to have2 serious aneurysms. I had them clipped in a 5 hour surgery at the Cleveland clinic. This June it will be 5 years since my surgery. I had absolutely no symptoms! Get checked! My surgeon told me many aneurysms are found in autopsies!
Brain Aneurysm has hit close to home for me as each and every one of my maternal uncles have passed away from it. I had 3 maternal uncles and they were all in their early to mid 60's when they passed. I always worry that I'll end up getting it myself every time I get a pretty bad headache with the maternal family history going against me. Me aside, my continued thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's immediate and extended family.
About 6 years ago my mother was put in the hospital with a blood clot. While in the hospital she developed blurred and double vision. Her doctor sent her for an MRI and a MRA. The MRI came back normal and the MRA showed that she had an aneurysm. She was sent by ambulance to gates vascular hospital in buffalo where the dr. (Dr. Levie) treated her. She had a stent and coil put in. She is now clear because it's been 5 year since the aneurysm showed up on a MRA. Please it's a scary thing to see a family member go through this. I'm just glad that my mom Knew the signs and asked to get something done.
2/28/13, my 32 yr old sister, a mom of 5 young kids 7-4months was in an exercise class and suffered a cerebral brain aneurysm. She was airlifted to UW hospital in Madison for emergency brain surgery but unfortunately she never came back. We let her go on 3/3/13 and donated her organs. She was a young, healthy, athletic, Amazing young woman. My maternal grandmother and maternal aunt also passed away young from. Brain aneurysms. For myself, my two daughters and my sister's two daughters it is extremely frightening. I will have brain MRI's every 5 yrs as will they once they turn 18. I wish someone would look into family history of aneurysms. Is it genetic, early signs etc. Just a CONSTANT fear for me.
I'm sharing my story because my experience still scares me. My Aneurysm bled as I was driving home from work. Headache, stiff neck, vomiting. I didn't know those were "the signs". Neither did the first ER I went to the next day. I had the headache and stiff neck and vomiting for 15hrs when I took myself to the ER. Despite having these clear symptoms, it took them 4hrs to even decide to scan me. When they did, they couldn't get a vein and said they'll just do it without contrast. No big deal, right? Big deal. The doctor couldn't even look at me when he told me they found bleeding in the right hemisphere of my brain and "we're not equipped to handle this here". He said to "sit tight" because the ambulance was coming to take me into Boston. Then he left me alone in the room to wait. I was in ICU for 10 days, I have a pipeline in now. My last angiogram was good. I was lucky. What I took from this experience is the alarming reality of walking into an ER where not even a doctor put my symptoms together as a brain bleed. I've made it my (probably annoying) mission to educate. Sudden headache that doesn't respond to medication. Sudden stiff neck. Nausea/vomiting. These are the signs. And your ER might not recognize them, so, please know them for yourself and everyone you care about in your life.