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Life after you or a loved one experiences a brain aneurysm may be different, but sharing your connection can provide hope to many others navigating recovery. We encourage you to share your journey, advice, and any other messages of support below.


Lisa Foundation

Shared Stories of Brain Aneurysms

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219 entries.
Gina Gina from Savannah wrote on October 16, 2020 at 4:18 am:
The year was 2001, I’m singing on stage at my senior recital and I notice that my aunt (also an opera singer) is not in the audience. Later, I come to find out that she has suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She’s strong, she survives and thrives through two craniotomies on either side of her head. This is my mother’s sister... Fast forward. The year is now 2006 and it’s right after the holidays. My brother, sister and I happen to be home at my parents house when we hear my mother screaming. My father is suffering from a ruptured brain aneurysm - not that we knew that in the moment. When your mother looks at you and says “don’t let him die” you feel relatively useless. But my father is brave and strong and has a giant head (which saved his life!) and he made it through his surgery. He’s on seizure medication for life but that seizure saved his life that night so we are grateful. forward....the year is 2017, the date November 21st. I had been struggling with a headache for a few weeks and decided to go to my GP. After he wanted me to take some pain killers and me saying NO I want an MRA, I was finally able to get one. He called me that day and have a brain aneurysm - I was driving and couldn’t breathe for the next few minutes. I couldn’t believe that this was happening again. Really? Seriously!?!? My babies were one and a half and three at the time and I was petrified. The next couple of months were a blur. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, tests, more tests....I was very torn on what to do. We moved across the country in 2018 and, as you can imagine, every time I worked out hard or got upset or stressed out I thought, “Is this the moment?” It was a constant in my mind, wondering, worrying. What if I was home alone with my kids and I dropped dead? ANYWAY....we moved to Georgia and I found a neurosurgeon that I liked immediately. Dr. Howington. Finally, a doctor I trusted. After many more tests we found out that my aneurysm was special - tucked away in my brain all comfy and cozy. It couldn’t get coiled as the neck was too wide. No stents either as it was right in a cross section of major arteries.....SOOOO craniotomy here I come! We scheduled my surgery for September 16, 2019. Remember all the other brain guys I went to see? Yeah they all said my head would explode at some point in the next 10 years so I figured I should get ahead of it before it actually did! Let me tell you - I’m completely back to my old self now. The Dr said I could be a poster child for brain surgery - “well great but no thanks”, I thought! Listen, life isn’t always better now or easier or perfect but boy do I appreciate more and enjoy more and love more then ever before. I’m so grateful for this life - this beautiful, crazy, wonderful life that I get to have. We only get one life and even in the horrible moments they are moments we get to live through
Stephen Morea Stephen Morea from Carle Place, NY wrote on October 1, 2020 at 5:34 pm:
We were celebrating Christmas at my brother-in-law’s home in Connecticut. Linda’s birthday was Christmas. The day was always special. The whole family was there; her brother Raiph came up from D.C.. Ralph and Linda were the best of friends. She lit up every time she saw him. The children were playing in the basement. The adults, three sisters, two brothers and the spouses were together in the living room. Linda and I were sitting on the floor by the coffee table talking, laughing and enjoying a glass of Christmas cheer, when she collapse, unconscious to the ground. I picked her up and cradled her head in my arms. She opened her eyes and said to me, “I was going through a dark tunnel. Am I going to die?” I answered, “Of course not you just fainted.” then she said the last words I would ever hear her speak, “where are my babies? Are my babies okay?” I told her your babies are fine. They are in the basement playing. We called an ambulance and they rushed her to the hospital. In the hospital everything was haywire: her heart rate rose then dove, her blood pressure soared then plummeted, alarms rang, buzzers went off. Her heart stopped beating three times the first night. “Don't worry she can't feel any pain,” they said, but sweat still dripped onto her beautiful face when her fever spiked beyond what a body could stand, and she still trembled and shook when they packed her in ice to bring her temperature back down. I remember in her last days, even in a coma, on a ventilator, lines and tubes coming out of her everywhere, she still looked like an angel, silent, sweet sleeping angel. Seven days later when the neurosurgeon told me she was brain dead, I still held out hope. The next day the Resident told me the only thing keeping her heart beating was the ventilator, in a week or so her organs would fail and her body would deteriorate. I held on, praying for a miracle. Two days later my brother-in law and sister-in-law came to me and said “ that’s not her lying in that bed, you have to let her go.” Then I made the decision the haunts me even now, 28 years later. I removed her from life support. Linda was my raison d'etre. She was my world. She was so well loved that the entire town showed up at her wake, the church overflowed at her funeral. I raised my two young children alone. Because of her love and the foundation she laid, they grew to be wonderful people. I never remarried. Never even dated. I’m pretty sure her spirit visited me early on. I’m sure she’s in a better place, but still I suffer regret and guilt, feeling: if i had been a better husband, if I had known about aneurysms, if I had seen a symptom, a sign, if I had been more attentive, maybe I could have saved her. I’m so happy for those who have surived this disease and my heart goes out to the families of those that didn’t.
Jennifer Proper Jennifer Proper from Perry wrote on July 26, 2020 at 3:12 am:
On 4/18/20, my husband was leaving the house in the morning to head to the store. He came back in and said he was starting to get a headache and came back in and took ibuprofen. Within minutes, the headache had turned into an excruciating headache and he began sweating and vomiting and turned very pale. I called 911 and within 15 minutes the ambulance arrived and I was told that mercy flight was 10 minutes behind them. Within an hour and 15 minutes he was admitted into the neuro ICU where he had a coil placed in his brain and was induced into a coma for 3 weeks. This is where he stayed for the next 2 months. This happened during the COVID hospital restrictions so we were not allowed in the hospital to see him for the next 2 months. On June 19th they called me to come in to the hospital to see his progress and decide if we thought we could handle him at home instead of him going to a skilled nursing facility. On June 25th, we brought him home to rehabilitate.... He cooked me dinner last night😁 7/25/2020
Marcie Freeman Marcie Freeman from Hastings wrote on July 11, 2020 at 2:08 am:
At 25 3/12/ 1993 I delivered my 3rd daughter , immediately after delivery I had the worst headache a person could ever feel. I was rushed for a CT and told they could find nothing that would explain my headache.( that maybe I just wanted pain meds) why because Im 25? For 4 days I stayed in my hospital room with the curtains closed, in darkness, wanting no noise to be made, with a blood pressure of 175/130 for 4 straight days rising as high as 240/195 , on the 4th day my discharge day (day 4). My husband had taken a bunch of our flowers home as well as gifts. The discharge doctor came in and I begged him to find out what was wrong before sending me home. He said the CT was fine and I had nothing to worry about, most likely a stress headache and it would get better in time.. The nurse in the room asked if maybe a MRI could be done ? he questioned her opinion rudely. After much begging for what started to feel like my life. One was ordered a MRI was finally ordered followed quickly by an angiogram,and there it was plain as day 1 ruptured anersuym that had been bleeding out for 4 days. I called my husband to quickly come back so he could get our newborn daughter , since I was being moved immediately to the University Of Minnesota where that night I was placed in ICU while doctors tried to figure out what to do. The next morning I was moved to surgery to have a brain surgery after being told my chance of survival was less than 15% at this point . My skull was removed my anersuym was clipped, my brain was vaccumed of blood cells, a drain tube in my head was placed. Upon the U of M reading my CT for the first night they said they could see the bleed ,and it was just missed most likely because of my age.. I spent the next 3 days in ICU followed by a week in a regular room. My short term memory was gone, who I was as a person before that surgery was gone and still is. I had no idea who I even was anymore, that day I become someone different. I've since had 2 more brain surgeies another craniotmoity to fix another anersuym and recently a coiling and stent to fix a new anersuym forming on top of the very first clip from 1993. I still have 3 more small anersuyms that are watched yearly with an angiogram since my original clip is metal..That first doctor truly believed because I was 25 there was no way it was anything other than a headache. I wish things could have been different , maybe if it wouldn't have bleed for 4 days it wouldn't have stole who I was but maybe it still would have. I fear every headache I get. The fear of another ruptured anersuym is a daily fear . Each time I've had surgery 3vtimes now its stole part of who Iam or was. However I'm grateful for the amazing skill and care of my surgerons. Marcie
Jennifer Jennifer from Pittsburgh wrote on May 15, 2020 at 2:52 am:
May 28th 2019, it happened. I spent the next month in the ICU. I don't remember anything, my oldest daughter found me while I was at home on a break from work. I'm a school bus driver so I had a 3 1/2 hour break. My daughter told me I was laying on the bathroom floor, crying and saying my head hurt really bad. Earlier, after my morning shift, I always take my 2 younger daughter's to school and they also said I was complaining about a bad headache. I do not remember any of this! My daughter called 911, they came and transported me to the hospital. They assumed I was having a stroke. My family met the ambulance at the hospital. My parent's said it was so crowded that I layed on a stretcher for 2 hours in the hall because they had no rooms available. After 2 hours had passed my father was really antsy so went to search for a doctor. The doctor finally came and told my family he believe I was having a stroke and they were waiting for CT to open so they could take me in. Another 45 minutes had passed before I was finally taken into CT. My mom says that's when all hell broke loose! They rushed me in a trauma bay, told my family they needed to life fly me to the bigger hospital because I had a ruptured aneurysm. At this point, a really bad lightning storm had rolled in and the pilot said it was too dangerous to take the helicopter up. They loaded me into another ambulance and rushed me to the next hospital. This hospital, thank God was prepared for me. I was immediately taken in for a few more procedures and then up to surgery. I spent the next 4 weeks in the ICU with about a 10% chance of survival. Things were really bad for the first 2 1/2 weeks, so I was told. I had 3 strokes, multiple vasospasms, my kidneys were shutting down, a touch of pneumonia (from laying in bed all the time), I had 7 angiograms and at one point I was intubated. My family was told to prepare for me not to come home. Somehow, by the grace of God, I pulled through. I can only remember about a day before I left for a rehab facility and even now, it's kinda fuzzy. I do just remember all the sudden being awake and very confused. I remember my mother telling me what happened but I just really didn't understand. I spent several weeks in the rehab facility because when I woke up I couldn't read, could barely walk or do simple things. My head was shaved, I hadn't eaten in almost a month and I was extremely weak. I was so annoyed because 5 hours a day I had to do physical therapy, occupational therapy in speech therapy. I was annoyed but those therapist we're wonderful and they got me back on my feet. After a few weeks I was discharged from rehab. I still had to have physical and speech therapy come to my house three times a week to work with me. I am blessed and happy to say that the only deficit I suffered was my eyesight got really bad. I'm okay with that, I just need to wear glasses for the rest of my life but it could have been so much worse! I eventually went back to work and was getting back to my normal life. This past March 4th 2020, I had a craniotomy because I also had two more unruptured aneurysms. They couldn't fix them when I was in the hospital because they needed to repair the one that ruptured before it was too late. I am still healing but I feel great! I had a frontal craniotomy and thank goodness I got it in right before covid-19 shut everything down. God willing, I will return to work after summer is over! I am blessed and thank God everyday that I have been given the second chance.. and that my children were given their mother back❤️
Ginny Ginny from Naples wrote on March 25, 2020 at 7:15 pm:
It was a normal day like all others. I was outside working in the yard. I came in, had dinner at least I think. The whole day is now a little blurry. Later that evening, I went to bed. My husband was already in bed. I was not in bed very long, when one of our dogs needed to go out. I got up from bed and I heard a loud pop inside my head. With that everything starting spinning. I tried to rise my husband to no avail. I knew something was very wrong. The room was spinning very fast and I was nauseous. I laid on the floor and thank GOD I had my cell phone. I called 911 and told them, I think I’m having a stroke. I could hear the person speaking to me, but at this point, I could no longer speak. The last thing I remember is saying, Lord, I’m in your hands and passed out. When I awoke, I was in the hospital with a tube down my throat to breath and I reached up and the nurse was there and said, don’t touch, you have tubes in your head to drain the blood. I realize today the ambulance had come and awakened my husband and between the EMTs and the neuro surgeons, they saved my life. I had a brain aneurysm. I didn’t have a headache like so many say. I felt fine all day. Even when I heard the pop in my head, other then being dizzy and nauseous. I hadn’t any pain. When I told the Lord, I was in his hands, a wonderful, calm feeling came over my entire body, like I never experienced before. I was in the hospital for a month and then on to rehab. What this aneurysm left me with, and I’m very lucky, is some balance and memory problems. It’s been two years and I’m getting better with memory, but the balance is still off, especially if I move too fast or I’m tired or stressed about something. My marriage didn’t last after that and I now live alone, which is sometimes scary, but I still believe GOD has a plan for me and I trust him completely. I have had a few other complication these last few years, but they have subsided on their own. I’m doing very well under the circumstances, so I’m grateful and blessed.. Ginny Chambers Naples, Fl 34117 memory
Elizabeth Hawkins Elizabeth Hawkins from Atlanta wrote on October 12, 2019 at 3:22 pm:
Hi there. Kinda long, I know, but I DO remember everything - well almost! It was June 15, 1992. I was married with a 5-year-old daughter It was my 30th birthday - my husband and I celebrated a lot. The day after my birthday, I was watching my friend's daughter while she worked. My husband was getting ready to leave town for business. I was on the phone with the cable company and mad as hell - I put my husband on the phone with them and went to the closet where I yanked a big box off the shelf to retrieve a receipt. I was VERY worked up. I was standing up watching my husband talk to them on the phone and all of a sudden I had a feeling of warmth rush over my head. I told him to get off the phone NOW and get me to the hospital. I didn't know what that feeling was - I just knew it didn't bode well. I went downstairs and waited by the car. Finally, I went back upstairs and he was still on the phone. I told him to call 911 immediately, which he finally did. The paramedics said my blood pressure was very high and that everything else checked out. I told them to go ahead and leave - except for a normal headache, I was NOT in any pain. Husband's partner came to the door and said they would be late - husband said what if he leaves and I drop dead? Wow- little did he know. Well, my friend came for her daughter, and my husband was able to leave. She asked me if I wanted a ride to the hospital. You see, I am a hypochondriac and I always had my head buried in medical journals. This time was no different! I kept thinking that, even though my head and neck were starting to hurt, realistically it must be a pinched nerve or pulled muscle from yanking that box down. Deep down I knew this wasn't the case though. I told my friend I was having a "subarachnoid hemorrhage," just to see what her response would be - and she chuckled, knowing me as a serious hypochondriac, and said I had pulled a muscle - but if I wanted to go, I needed to make up my mind because by now it was 7 PM and she had to get home. My intellect took over and I went. On the way there, I told her I was going to have a lumbar puncture (I knew all this because as it was happening, I was reading the medical book) But she still swore that I was crazy and said they would give me pain meds and send me home. By now, the pain is getting worse, but not intolerable. If I would bend my neck and cough it would radiate down my back. When I checked in at the hospital I sat down and started getting drowsy. I went to the triage nurse and told her with every bit of authority I could muster up that my brain was hemorrhaging and that I was about to pass out if they didn't get me seen asap. For some unknown reason they took me seriously and got me right back to the doctor. He gave me a full neuro exam and everything checked out fine! Pupils, balance, etc., everything. He gave me a cat scan and it came back NEGATIVE! He then ordered a spinal tap - for which I couldn't be sedated because of my already compromised consciousness. I THOUGHT I WOULD DIE - that was the most painful thing I had EVER experienced. My friend later told me that she went to the patient advocate to get an update and found out that I was being prepped for a "lumbar puncture." At that point she became worried. After the spinal, they told me that I was going to be admitted. I had "grossly bloody spinal fluid." On the way past the nurses' station, I used the phone to call my mom and let her know. That's when the nurse told me that I was very lucky: the doctor I saw was an intern, and that with all my tests being negative, most doctors would have never ordered a spinal tap - the only test that indicated a problem. I was taken to ICU and my friend left - thankfully agreeing to watch my daughter. I fought sleep all night as I was afraid of dying - by that time I knew my brain was bleeding - only no one knew why. The next morning at shift change, the nurse that was leaving gave me a shot and told me I was going to sleep. I did. A couple of hours later (10 AM or so), I was taken for a cerebral angiogram - a catheter was run from my groin to my brain and dye was injected into each quadrant looking for the source of the bleeding. By the time I arrived back in ICU, a neurosurgeon was waiting for me and told me that I had to have brain surgery for an aneurysm. I asked if I could schedule it for a couple of weeks out. He said it had to be done that day. When I asked him if I would be ok, he couldn't tell me - he told me I could walk out of the hospital and get hit by a truck, there's no way of knowing. What he COULD tell me, was that if I had chosen to NOT go to the hospital and stayed home and gone to bed the night before, I would not have woken up. I would have died in my sleep. The ONLY THING I COULD THINK ABOUT AT THAT POINT was my baby girl. I just knew I would NEVER see her again. I called my friend's office and left her a message - I had indeed had a subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by an aneurysm, and that I had to have surgery - and to PLEASE make sure my baby knows how much I love her. Always. She was at my bedside within 30 minutes! My mother's flight arrived while I was in surgery. I came through ok, no neuro side effects. What I was unaware of was that because I was at great risk of having a stroke within the first 10 days, I was kept in a semi-conscious state so my memories of that time period are fleeting at best. After that, I was put into a regular room. I refused pain meds because I figured that if they had fixed my bleed, I shouldn't be in pain... How crazy was THAT rationale?? Quick follow-up: I found out that I was pregnant with my second child about 4 weeks after leaving the hospital. There were only TWO chances at conception: multiple possibilities before my aneurysm, and ONE possibility after my aneurysm. The problem was that if this child was conceived before my aneurysm, there is no way it could be a viable pregnancy with all the stress on my body and all the drugs used during my hospital stay and surgery. Turns out, my son was conceived 7 days AFTER being released from the hospital. We hadn't planned for another child, but we were blessed with a perfectly healthy baby, and we now have a wonderful 26-year-old son who was obviously meant to be here!
Asia Martin Asia Martin from Saint Louis wrote on October 7, 2019 at 12:05 pm:
Hello! My name is Asia and my experience opened my eyes in many different ways. My experience happened April 5, 2019. It was a normal day so it seemed. I got off work and picked my girls up from my mother. I was fussing at them to get their homework out and get started so that we can get ready for dinner and so on. I was in the middle of changing my then 6 month old on the bed, when I got a pop in my head. I became dizzy and staggered to the hallway. I screamed for my oldest daughter (6 years old). I screamed her name several times because I knew I was going to pass out and might now wake up. My boyfriend at the time was coming in through the door and he caught me as I passed out. When I woke up, the paramedics was asking me if I was able to stand so that I could get onto the stretcher due to the hallway being narrow. I was not able to move any of my limbs. I could hear myself talking in my head but was not able to form words. I finally got some strength to get up unto the stretcher chair. I was transported in an ambulance and I vomited the entire time. My head was banging beyond compare. When I finally got to the ER I just heard that the wait was over two hours. I waited in the waiting room in a wheelchair by myself where I urinated and defecated on myself the entire time. Finally a family member showed up and I was not fully coheriet. I do not remember getting any testing done but I did. There was not an ER doctor at that time. A nurse practictior released me with migraine medicine and my diagnosis was a migraine. I finally got to my mothers house and tried to sleep the headache off, which I did not. The next day, the ER doctor called me demanding that I return to the ER and do not wait because I had a spot on my brain. When I got there, he immediately saw me and said I should not have been released because I had a brain aneurysm and stroke. I would need to go into surgery and get coils place. Terrified much, I got the procedure done. I was in ICU for 3 days and on the stroke floor for 7. Those 10 days was the most painful days of my life. Although, I am grateful to be here today. My plan for next year is to start a local aneurysm walk. I want to educate people. I have lost relative from this and I want a change.
Adriana Herrada Adriana Herrada from Dalton,Georgia wrote on October 3, 2019 at 11:42 pm:
Hello my name is Adriana I am from a small town in north Georgia my journey started in dec 2017 I wanna described everything but what I’ve been told is all blur for me I all know Is I was working my weekend job on a Sunday night and I started complaining of a headache and From there its has vanished from my memory but l remember coming home on the last week of January and my birthday was on the 6 th of February so grateful that I spend it at home cause a week later it had been several days without sleep and I was just not able to close my eyes I would close my eyes but I couldn’t fall asleep so a Saturday later I happen to feel really dizzy, nauseous ,and that headache that made me vomit all over my small bathroom my family took me into the hospital and after exams and ct scans they said what I was so scared to hear again “it ruptured again” I was rushed to the more advanced hospital and I literally had to learn everything again I left the hospital and my rehabilitation after 3 months
Robin swords Robin swords from Lorain wrote on September 27, 2019 at 4:33 pm:
August 2012 I had a headache all day, was a cook in a nursing home. Went home, had a nap, had a good rest of the day with my kids. Went to bed at 9, work at 530 am. Woke up at 10 with an indescribable pain. Screamed for my daughter and her best friend. By the time they got to my room, 2 rooms away, I was on the floor covered in puke. They called my mom, she lives 5 minutes away and had just got to her driveway from bringing my 1 son home. She got there and asked if I could get up so she could take me to the hospital, I said I dont even know how I got here. They called an ambulance, my son james got mad and cussed at the screen door. This was Saturday night. Next thing I remember is waking up Monday and seeing my ex husband there with my kids. The next few weeks were a blur, there's alot I dont remember. But after 2 brain surgeries, one opening the head I got to go home. A few months later was my 3rd surgery. Last year I gave birth to a little girl right around the anniversary. Now 7 years later I have 5 kids (4 adults, 1 minor) whom I'm very proud of and 2 year old grandson
Jean Jean from Graham wrote on September 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm:
I had terrific pain behind my right eye start on June of 2017. It would last about 30 mins and subside. This went on for 5 weeks. It did not happen everyday, it would start at night when I was ready to go to sleep. On July 12th my husband was taking be to the doctor with the pain in my eye. I was getting into the car and the most horrible pain I had ever felt, went thru my whole head. I have to say, child birth has nothing on the pain from a brain hemorrhage.We live 18 miles from town and my husband drove me to the doctor. The doctor gave me 2 shots to stop the pain and recommended I go straight to DUKE Hospital for an MRI and CATscan. My husband drove me to DUKE's emergency ward, where after we gave them our paperwork, we were told to take a seat. We were still sitting there after 4 hours and went to the desk to ask how much longer. We were told they could not do an MRI or Catscan. I would have thought they would have told us that when we walked in. I was told all they could do was give me Tylenol, so we left. Monday I called my Doctor and explained he would need to have me set up for an MRI. He said he would not do that and called in a prescription for migraine's, to the pharmacy. The Pharmacist told me I was an addict and to leave his pharmacy. I went back over to the Doctor and he told me to get out. At this point I had very little faith in the medical world. I went to my Chiropractor, he talked with me and asked if he could get an MRI set up for me. I said yes. He called to get an MRI set and they got me an apportionment for the day after and an appointment with the Neurologist for the next day after the MRI. He also called my insurance company and they denied payment on the MRI, said I did not need one. Since when do insurance companies get to make that call. (I took over 9 months to get the BCBS to pay for half of the MRI, after I send them my information from the Doctor Explaining my Brain Hemorrhage, 3 months later, my monthly insurance went from $369.00 a month, to $1014.00 a month. I had to drop my insurance) I went to the outpatient clinic and the Doctor there was great, he prescribed medicine to get my blood pressure down. I had the MRI completed, the next day and they called me within 1 hour and said I had a brain hemorrhage. I saw the Neurologist, the next day. He confirmed the brain hemorrhage and told me I was one of the few, who is still walking and talking and have continued to keep my company running. I have not had a headache since, but continue to take blood pressure medicine. I only take 2 1/2 milligrams now, just as a precaution. I will always be grateful to my Chiropractor, my Neurologist and the out patient doctor in Graham for helping me after, my Doctor, my pharmacy and DUKE turned me way. Most of all I am grateful to GOD for more time to spend with my husband, my sons, grandchildren and last but not least my cat. If you are having horrible pain in one or both of you eyes, see a doctor who cares and wants to help you, get a second doctor to see if your not happy with the first one. I am very grateful for the second chance a life.
Julie Julie from Carrollton wrote on September 21, 2019 at 5:58 pm:
Five years ago this October, I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. I was 52. My husband and I were at a Kenny Loggins concert in a small venue, and I was next in line to meet him. (I'm not a regular concert-goer and I was so excited to meet the guy who had provided the soundtrack of my life). In front of me was our friend, a gastrointerologist. As I watched them talking, I experienced the horrible headache that so many have mentioned. I became weak and my knees started to buckle. My husband caught me and steered me over to a seat. Someone brought me a Coca Cola. I was woosey but still communicating. Kenny Loggins watching from afar and I remember wondering what he was thinking: did he think I was some drunk fan?. My husband and I talked with our Doc friend and decided since we were with 2 miles of a hospital that we would go on in. He called ahead and they were waiting for me. (He later said he thought it was just a precaution: docs look for the normal, they don't rush to drastic conclusions). I opened the passenger door of the car at the ER and once again I crumbled and the hospital staff met me and ushered me in. The ER doc immediately did a CT scan and confirmed bleeding on the brain. My husband and I were trying to grasp what was going on - the fact that this was serious was sinking in. He was having a hard time processing the information. Like so many, we had no idea what we were dealing with. I told him where all the "important" papers were at my office, including my will. The hospital tried to set up a life flight to Atlanta, but the weather was bad and they were grounded, so they called in an ambulance. I had an experienced crew, another lucky break. They instructed my husband to follow in the car and they stayed in touch with him during the trip. I was still conscious and remember the sounds and lights as we rushed past in the dark. I also remember their calm, strong voices as they worked on me and monitored my condition. I was still conscious when we arrived at the large urban hospital and then I checked out. Later I found that we had another stroke of luck: the doc who did my surgery was renowned in this area of medicine, he had been consulted by Grey's Anatomy and shadowed by an actor - if you watch the first season, the first emergency is a subarachnoid hemorrage. My surgery was what I would call a success since I'm still here. I had a ruptured aneurysm, one that had not yet ruptured, and one where the aneurysm had joined to another vessel. All were clipped. When I became woke up after the surgery, with all the bells, whistles and gadgets hooked up to me, I remember my husband's saying "you're ok, you're going to be ok". That was enough. So here I am, five years later and yes, I am ok - different - but ok. The recovery is a whole other story, but that is for another day. I'm just glad that after five years, I found a place, where there is someone like me; and that there is growing awareness, which will perhaps some day lead to prevention.
Mary Ann Gaida Mary Ann Gaida from Clarkston wrote on September 21, 2019 at 4:28 pm:
Hello Everyone, Yes I am a walking miracle. Thank the Lord. On January 12, 2013 my husband and I decided to return a recliner to the store because it did not fit with our décor. We both carried it to our car and struggled to put it in back of our car. After that I suddenly got a terrible headache. It felt like my head was a football on fire in the back. I went back into the house and put my hands under my chin and told my husband to call 911. As I waited, I thought did I jump the gun. They took me all the way to Beaumont in Troy, Michigan. I live in Clarkston Michigan. There I laid for 6 hours. Throwing up and miserable. I guess they assumed I had a bad neck strain and the flu was going around so this is probably what they assumed. My daughter who lived in Chicago told them by phone that my brother dyed of a Brain Aneurysm and they said they couldn't talk to her. I screamed for a doctor but to no avail. That's all I remember but they finally gave me more tests I was told and they took me by ambulance to Beaumont in Royal Oak, Michigan. None of this I remember because they put me out. The next time I awoke they told me I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. I stayed in the hospital for 10 days and here I am today. I am so lucky to be alive. I have lost a lot of memory from the past, but who knows it could be old age. I am 69. lol The one thing I tell everyone, listen to your BODY!! Also, I lost a brother at the age of 58 of a Brain aneurysm and his 40 year old son had one and he had the clipping. I had the coiling from Dr. Mick at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. He is GREAT. I really do BELIEVE that this is Genetic. So if someone in your family had one you should be checked out with a MRA. I get one every year for a follow up. As of now I am doing good, but next week I will have my yearly MRA so we will see. I hope by telling my story this will help someone out there. AMEN.
Barbara Harmon Barbara Harmon from Elkhorn wrote on September 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm:
My grandson had an aneurysm that burst in his brain when he was 8 years old. He spent 6 months in the hospital, had part of his skull removed to relieve the pressure on his brain and a shunt put in to drain excess fluid. He is now 11, and he recently had the shunt removed which they replaced with medication. He still has very little mobility and cannot speak. We knew nothing about brain aneurysms before this happened to him. Thank you for bringing awareness about this condition to the world. I wonder how many others had children as young as my grandson that this has happened to. My son and daughter-in-law are doing an awesome job caring for him and we wish we could do more but we live quite a distance away. We pray every day that our grandson could be restored to the smart, lively, independent boy that he was. Right now he is such a trooper and has to endure so much as a result of his condition. I believe it is his strong fighting spirit and the love and care of his parents and God ‘s grace that keeps him going.
Lon Tinney Lon Tinney from Santa Monica wrote on September 21, 2019 at 3:06 pm:
I read through a number of stories from survivors and noticed the common thread of wanting to help others avoid or be aware of stroke symptoms before they become a reality. Without a long story Blood Pressure plays a key role in these stories. I was told 130/135 was normal which they now know is 120 to be normal. I came home from work and it was just another typical demanding day. I spent some time with my wife and before retiring i got up for one more bathroom call and everything went out as I went unconscious and fell. I tried to get up, I called out to my wife and she tried to help me up but my core strength was gone and i couldn't get up. Little did i know the aneurysm had occurred. But then I drooled and I knew immediately i had had a stroke because my father had three strokes and drooled. The last stroke for him proved fatal. My wife called 911. I was taken to UCLA in westwood , fortunately for me thats the number one facility for a stroke attack. My left side failed fully including my left lung. A massive stroke, and an emergency tracheotomy and a stomach tube and into an induced coma so the brain could reabsorb the blood as the bleed was more central in my brain, not an easy operation. Coming out of the coma i couldn't talk or use my left side totally bedridden. That was the start of whats become a four year journey.. But the odds of not making it were 60/40 so im ahead so to say. But i wouldnt wish this on anyone. So pay attention to your blood pressure and keep your blood vessels as clean as you can. LonTinney
Samantha Samantha from Sunnyvale wrote on September 21, 2019 at 2:45 pm:
I am a mother of 4 boys. At the time of my aneurysm my oldest was 9 and my youngest was 1. I spent the day of my aneurysm at my babysitters graduation. I had driven her family an hour to the graduation and back. I had never met them before and couldn’t pick them out now. It was at the dinner that my husband said my eyes rolled back into my head and I fell out of the chair. I remember nothing except my nightmare about missing my sons 5th grade promotion. I was kept in a coma for a couple of weeks. From mid May to mid June 2011 I was in the ICU. I moved to rehab right before July 4. I went home in August. Life has been quite a challenge. I have right side weakness. I can no longer run. I just learned about neurofatigue which explains some things for me. I am so grateful that I have been here for my boys. I’m sad that my abilities were diminished so I could not do as much as I would have liked but the alternative was much worse. My oldest is now 18 and my youngest is 10. Thank God I survived!
Christina CONTANT Christina CONTANT from Corona Del Mar wrote on September 21, 2019 at 2:43 pm:
FYI. Check this website; It is a vascular disease. .(50/50chance to pass on) HHT HAS MANY CENTERS OF SPECIALTY AROUND THE COUNTRY AND I URGE EVERYONE WITH AN AFFECTED RELATIVE, TO GET TESTED AT ONE OF THIS CENTERS.. PLEASE LOOK FOR THE NEAREST CENTER..... GO TO: ”HHT.ORG” I HAD AN ANEURYSM THAT RUPTURED AND MY SON AT AGE 6YRS HAD A HEMORRHAGE. We are both lucky to be here and healthy. Now we are very active members in HHT. I DO NOT KNOW WHICH OF MY RELATIVES HAD HHT... BUT IT COULD SHOW AS LITTLE SIGN AS MIGRAINES...Your organization is a blessing. HOWEVER, SOME AFFECTED PEOPLE MIGHT HAVE HHT AND NEED FUTHER TREATMENTS.....AVM’S NEED TREATMENTS since they show up in other organs and can get treated if getting to an HHT Center. Best wishes!
Stephen Richards Stephen Richards from Coatesville wrote on September 21, 2019 at 2:35 pm:
My story is nothing short of a miracle. On June 24, 2013, as I left the shower I experienced what I would called a severe and unique headache and laid my head on the floor. If I were home alone, I suspect I would have simply laid down and died. Fortunately, my wife saw something very wrong in my eyes and called an ambulance. I had no memory after my head on the floor until the rehab. My blood clotted which was a good thing if I got to a hospital quickly which I did. A day earlier I was on business in CT and would have simply gone back to my hotel room and died. I have to believe this was Devine intervention. I was in the ICU for a couple of weeks without moving. I did go back and thank everyone who helped me in ICU but unfortunately I did not remember a face. When I questioned my psychologist that I might have thought I could not handle this and caused my loss of memory. His response was that I just short-circuited. Bottom line, my wife saved my life that day. Unfortunately, we have brilliant neurosurgeons, but I receive very little info as to the cause. It was proposed to be smoking and possibly hereditary. Needless to say, I no longer smoke, but because my father had experienced multiple strokes that no one knew about, I believe the heredity issue is more the cause. Both my children have been checked and neither of them have any signs of an aneurysm. To conclude, I can only believe God left me live for a reason
Scott Shepard Scott Shepard from Cocoa Beach, FL wrote on September 21, 2019 at 2:33 pm:
Scott Shepard Cocoa Beach, FL Brain Aneurysm------Age 15 I was out surfing in Ocean City Maryland and without any notice, I had a brain aneurysm. I almost drowned but was put out to the beach where I was transported to the local hospital. I was then helicoptered to Walter Reed Army Hospital (stepfather was a retired Lt. Col) and tested. Amazing that one of the best neurosurgeons in the world just so happen to be stationed at Walter Reed. He transferred two weeks after he had operated on me. My mother was told that because the aneurysm was in the lower stem of the brain (vital organ section), my chance of living was 1 in 100 and "if" I survived, I would be a vegetable. Nine months later I was surfing again and still surf today at age 65. I have been married for 43 years, have three daughters and five grandsons. Only by the Grace and Mercy of God and I here today to write this. Scott Shepard.
Debbie Debbie from St Peters, Mo wrote on September 21, 2019 at 2:06 pm:
At age 28 I lost my mom, Sue, who was 49 years old to a brain aneurysm. She was fine, then she wasn't, then she was on life support. 8 hours later the family was saying goodbye. It's shocking to me even 29 years later how healthy she was and how fast she was gone from us. My son had just turned 1. Thank you for making others aware of the signs. Although I can still hear my mom's voice in my head I would've loved to share life on earth with her much longer.

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