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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.
Rosalie Rosalie wrote on October 7, 2016 at 5:43 pm:
In 2014 my mother was 50 yrs old.She had high blood pressure but never went to see a dr. She drank soda and coffe to cure her headaches.she had stress of working 7-3pm caring for my ill grandfather.she suffered from alot of headaches blurry vision slurred speech she didnt know the risk of all those signals. She suffered a brain anuresym stroke ,coma for 4 months and alot of seizures. Dr diagnosis was vegetable state. My mother now at 52 yrs. She just had her crainotomy flap back replaced in her head 2 months ago. She has no feeling in left side of body. She can speak a little .But lost most memory of who family and things are.
Paul Paul from Philadelphia wrote on October 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm:
I stumbled upon today's NY Daily News story about Kris Sorensen, and then found my way here. It is quite the coincidence, as today is the 44th anniversary of by Mother's death due to an undiagnosed brain aneurysm. My Mom was 37 at the time of her death; and was survived by my Dad, my two brothers (ages 13 and 6), and me (age 10). It was the late summer of 1972, and my Mom was ill for a couple weeks at home; with what was thought to be mononucleosis. She then suffered a seizure at home, and was rushed to a local hospital. She regained consciousness, and remained in the hospital for a few weeks more with her doctors still remaining unaware of her true condition. She then suffered another seizure (on Oct 4 or 5) from which she never regained consciousness; and passed on Oct 7. Thank you Todd for forming this foundation, and working to raise awareness of brain aneurysm symptoms. Kris Sorenson's story is testimony to the priceless value of your efforts. The NY Daily News story can be found here...
Lynn Lynn wrote on October 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm:
For my 60th birthday, I had planned to go to Paris . . . Several months before, I began having scrambled vision. I made an appointment with with an ophthalmologist, who called me a silly woman who was imagining things and sent me home. I then went to see my doctor, who listened and made me an appointment with a highly respected neurologist. The neurologist tested for a variety of things and then ordered an MRI. My insurance would only cover a flat MRI (not sure of the proper name), which showed an image like that of an x-ray. The neurologist saw something that looked somewhat questionable and forced the insurance to do a 3-D MRI of my brain. At my next appointment, the neurologist called me into his private office to look at what he was seeing on his computer--a balloon on the basilar artery, at the base of my brain. He said that because of the location, if it burst, I would not even make it to the ER. I left the office in shock. The neurologist told me I needed to see the best and made me an appointment with Randall Higashida at UCSF, a pioneer in the treatment of brain aneurysms with coil embolization. I was given the choice of clipping, which would open up my skull and push parts of my brain around, and the coil method, which involved threading a catheter through the femoral artery up to my brain. Since he had done many coil embolizations, I chose that route. I spent 2 nights in the hospital and was back at work in 8 days. That was 16 years ago. I am forever grateful to Dr. Higashida and his team at UCSF. The lessons here are that, if you suspect something is wrong, don't stop looking for answers, and if you need surgery, find a surgeon who has already successfully done many similar procedures.
Diane Diane from Brownsville wrote on October 7, 2016 at 2:14 pm:
Hello, My story is different as I never had a HA before my surgery. Mine starts with being rear ended in a car crash. About a week later I started seeing this thing in my left eye, I describe as like a neon spider web. I went to the eye doctor thinking that the accident may have damaged the eye. The doc could not see anything wrong. Over the next 8 months I continued to see the eye doctor and the spider web eventually covered my entire field of vision in the left eye. The doc finally sent me for an MRI, where they found a large aneurysm on the carotid artery that was pushing on the optic nerve causing the visual disturbance. I had emergency surgery, they were not sure I would have vision in the left eye, but thankfully I do. My surgeon Dr. Hacker, I know what a name for a brain surgeon, said that it was just days from rupturing. He repaired it with a titanium clip. This is where my HA story starts. After 3 days I woke up in the ICU with the worst HA of my life, the spider web was gone. My surgery was 23 years ago and I have had a HA almost everyday since. All of my senses are heightened, Perfume is probably the worst, bright sun and loud noises will trigger a HA and aura. If I can say anything it is Listen to your Body!! Thank you for bringing attention to this life changing emergency.
Joy Joy from Highland wrote on October 7, 2016 at 1:54 pm:
This foundation is a wonderful loving tribute to your wife and such a wealth of information. In 2003, I had an MRI for an unrelated condition and at the age of 40 they found an anterior communicating artery aneurysm. Since it was an incidental finding and because it was a small necked aneurysm, I was a candidate for a coiling procedure through a catheter in the groin. At the time the surgeon was 1 of 10 surgeons in the country that performed this less invasive procedure and it was in Chicago approximately 45 miles from my home. I was so fortunate that they found it and were able to treat it before it ruptured and also treat it close to my home. My daughter suffers from horrible migraines as well and she has had MRI/MRA's, but I am always fearful that one of them could be an aneurysm. Please also remember that MRI's and CT scans are very useful tools, MRA's look at the blood vessels of the brain. It is always recommended that when one family member has been diagnosed with an aneurysm, all biological family members should be proactive to monitor for them as well. We are all bound together as a united group to support each other. Happiness and Health to All.
Tina Tina from Westerville wrote on October 7, 2016 at 12:45 pm:
Hello. I am a seven month BA survivor. On March 14th I was working out at the gym. Upon completion of a set of leg press, I stood up with the worst headache of my life, which rendered me lifeless on the gym floor. By God's grace and mercy, there happened to be a doctor working out that same morning (5:45 am). He and a trainer rushed over and began CPR - to no heart stopped. The General Manager procured a defibrillator and managed to get my heart restarted. I was reborn that day. After being rushed to Riverside Methodist Hospital Neuroscience Center, it was discovered I had four aneurysms (two that ruptured resulting in a subarachnoid hemorraghic stroke and two that are still active in my Circle of Willis today; however, they are too small to treat). I had two brain surgeries where the ruptured basilar artery and one other artery was coiled and clipped. I spend 17 days in the ICU and came out of this situation with minor deficits (i.e. some occasional dizziness, minor memory loss, minor headaches and tiredness - oh, the neuro fatigue is very special 🙁 ). Happy to say that five months post rupture I was cleared to marry the love of my life in a skydive wedding in Vegas on August 17, 2016. I'm one of the lucky ones and I try my best every day, to remember that and not take anything for granted. I share with you our Sky Dive Las Vegas video (recovery is possible)
Nicola Branch Nicola Branch from Louisburg wrote on October 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm:
I seen this story this morning, I believe that this may have been what happened to Aunt four years ago. We never could confirm it because of her husband at that time decided not to get an full autopsy . This really touched me my aunt was always busy , and never took time to care for her self.
Kathleen Kathleen from Charlotte wrote on October 7, 2016 at 11:52 am:
My cousin was 17 years old in 1977. I was not quite 10 years old. From what I was told, he had been slurring his words and acting drunk. My aunt & uncle just thought he had been drinking. I'm not sure how he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. He had been scheduled for surgery but died before it could happen. He died 8 days before his 18th birthday.
Claudia Claudia from Fresno wrote on October 7, 2016 at 11:41 am:
Hello all, this is the first time I have shared my story online. I happened to watch Good Morning America this morning and found that many young people, like myself, have had an aneurysm. My story starts with the birth of my daughter. Perfect pregnancy, no complications, blood pressure normal, and routine scheduled c-section. One week post partum I got the "worst headache of my life" along with vertigo which included, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness. I was alone with my kids and was able to call my sister. She promptly called the paramedics and I was taken to the ER. Unfortunately, after waiting 3 hours to be seen I was sent home for migraine. Later that night ,I returned to the hospital and lost consciousness in the waiting room. Finally, a doctor ordered an MRI and found the aneurysm, an artery in my cerebellum had ruptured. I was admitted to the hospital and stayed for 2 weeks. I am currently on an aspirin regimen and seeing some amazing doctors at Stanford. Miraculously I have not had major side effects. My balance is a bit shaky, and a my speech and memory were slightly effected. However, knowing that the outcome could have been death I am very thankful to be here. I am so happy to have found this foundation, and see the story of so many others.
Kevin Kevin from Lebanon Oregon (Now SD) wrote on October 7, 2016 at 10:39 am:
I was 11. My mom was driving home from work. There were a few construction workers shingling a church when they saw a car drive off the road and strike a tree. They rushed down and found my mom slumped over the steering wheel. They immediately called an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital. I am still not sure of the specifics, but one of the ER Dr's recognized what was happening. The next time I saw her I was standing it the ICU in Portland Oregon where my mom was flown to. She had a tube coming out of the left side of her head and there was dried blood everywhere. They told me that they wanted me to see her before she went into emergency surgery. I assume it was a "just in case" situation. Her surgery went well, but she wouldn't wake up. It took 33 days for her to finally open her eyes. I spent every day in that hospital. Not because of courage and determination to be by her side, but because I was terrified. I was terrified that I would never get to talk to my mother again. Never get to feel her hold my hand or smell the home-cooked meals that she made for me again. It was all for selfish reasons. I didn't want to lose my mom and if I stayed next to her, never left, then I wouldn't lose her. And I didn't. She made it through. After 53 days, she walked out of that hospital and into a rehab center. She had to learn everything all over. How to talk. How to comb her hair and even how to take a shower. But she did it and after 4 months in rehab, she came home. I am now 33 years old with children of my own and I owe my mother's life AND my own to the Dr's in Lebanon and Portland Oregon. And also to the construction workers who saw her crash. I never found out who these gentleman were, but to them, I thank you also. My mother was never the same. She had zero short-term memory, loss of peripheral vision and suffered seizures on a weekly basis for nearly 10 years afterwards (among a litany of other things) . She ended up overcoming all of that and more. She is now 71 years old and still living on her own. I'm not exactly sure how to end this, but I do know that there are others out there, right now, that are trying to push forward from this devastating affliction. Just know that there are people out there that have survived this. There are people out there that know EXACTLY how I felt. For those people, it gets better. There is hope...
James Walden James Walden from Morton wrote on October 7, 2016 at 9:35 am:
I had migraines since a teenager. But one day in my early 30's I was at work and had the worse headache of my life. i got confused, dizzy, starting sweating. I just wanted to go home and lay down. I had just had a infant so by the grace of God i called my mom to see if she could watch him so I could lay down. When she asked why I told her about this headache. She advised me that didn't seen like a good idea to lay down but maybe go to ER. So i listened and called my wife and she picked me up from work and took me to hospital where they found I had a brain bleed and it was not just a normal headache. I had a AVM which is a Arteriovenous malformation which is a blood vessel in my brain that ruptured. I was given numerous MRI's MRA's Angiograms and finally had brain surgery to fix. It has been a long tedious journey. Thank you for bringing attention to Brain Aneurysm!!!!
Christy Marketon Christy Marketon from sioux falls wrote on October 7, 2016 at 9:27 am:
I am a survivor. Only by the grace of God, my loving husband and an amazing Dr. Dandamudi. I suffered from migraines my whole life up until 5 years ago. So when I got a major headache this summer the story unfolds. Today, I thank God each day for another chance to encourage people to listen to their bodies, live for the moment and find the goodness in others. The statistics surrounding brain aneurysms are strong and so unknown to the general population. Thank you for getting this information more publicized and out there. This silent killer can be hereditary so I encourage everyone to talk about it, the signs, the unknowns. Thank you for your work, Godspeed.
Tracie Prosser Tracie Prosser from Massillon wrote on October 7, 2016 at 8:43 am:
My name is tracie, my story started over 6 years ago in may 2010. We received the call on May 25th that there was a liver available for my 14 year old daughter to get her transplant in Cincinnati Ohio, she got her transplant and 6 years later her liver is doing great, well July 25th 2010 2 months exactly from the day she received her transplant and while we were still in Cincinnati I was in the shower and my head started feeling really weird. So I went and layed down. Shortly after I vomited and decided something wasn't right!! My head was hurting much worse so I decided to drive myself with my daughter to the closest hospital!! I have no idea how I did it but I did!! From there I was transfered to another hospital in Cincinnati where the next morning I had surgery and I left the ICU 7-10 later, I had had a ruptured brain aneurysm. I am lucky to be alive.. I feel like when this happened I didn't really have anyone to talk to.. I am so happy that you have put together this foundation. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful wife.
Elizabeth Bartlett Elizabeth Bartlett from Jacksonville wrote on October 7, 2016 at 8:32 am:
I was experiencing the most horrible headaches and for 4 months I was bouncing back and forth between eye doctors and family dr's. I had xrays (assuming it was a sinus/allergy issue) Due to the fact that I also have M.S. I finally had a cat scan as a new dr. felt the symptoms I was showing could have been due to M.S.. Within 24hrs of this test I was in an O.R. . I had an acute subdural hematoma. I had not been involved in any car accident or major trauma. The only thing we could determine was that I tripped on a nature walk! The headache and poor coordination were the big warning signs.
Gina Hobbs Gina Hobbs from Snellville wrote on October 7, 2016 at 8:26 am:
In 1989 my father James Morgan Jr. was suffering from frequent headaches. Being a "manly" man he would not go to the doctor. He was eating aspirin as though they were candy. He would go through a bulk bottle of aspiring from Sam's Club in less than 2-3 weeks. Eventually his aneurysm burst while he was bowling one night. After a long surgery he recovered. Unfortunately he passed about a year later from a severe allergic reaction to his medications known as stevens-johnson syndrome. Frequent headaches are NOT normal. That is a serious sign that something is wrong. Please listen to your body and go to the doctor when you don't feel right. Your body will always tell you when something is wrong. Listen to it. Be blessed and encourage your loved ones to seek medical help.
Matt Matt from Flint wrote on October 7, 2016 at 6:51 am:
I had my Basilar tip aneurysm clipped in 2007. I was lucky. I had an MRA after back surgery, because I was having constant headaches, (later diagnosed as spine problems), and they caught the little brute. I may have gone all my life with no problems, but it may also have ruptured. I owe a great deal to my family doctor at the time, for his dedication and awareness. I have a big scar and a plate in my skull, but I am alive and kicking.
Anna Smolski Anna Smolski from Howell, NJ wrote on October 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm:
Thank you Todd for creating this wonderful foundation in honor of Lisa. My family and I know too well of this silent killer. Our lives will forever be affected by this silent killer "an aneurysm". On 4/12/15 My husband Vincent died of right subarachnoid hemorrhage caused by a rupture. We had just had a wonderful family day at an amusement park and while settling in to bed all I can remember is my husband grabbing on to the right side of his head and falling over while I screamed for my children to call 911 as I started CPR. Our lives will never be the same again. There were signs now that I can remember, the headaches, the pain behind the eye, the feeling light headed. He was diagnosed on 3/28 with syncope and referred to a cardiologist. If I only knew then as much as I now know perhaps he would still be here. My only hope is that for the rest of my life I can honor him and raise our children while he guides me in spirit and raise as much awareness of the little everyday signs that can forever change a families life. Thank You The Smolski Family.
Lisa Cox Lisa Cox from Soddy Daisy wrote on October 6, 2016 at 9:24 am:
I am 53 years old and just stumbled upon this story about Lisa Colagrossi and ended up at this webpage. I have been having severe headaches since July 2016. One lasted 13 days before I finally went to the ER. Nothing helps these headaches which always start in my neck at the base of my skull. They then seem to go thru my head and land behind my eyes. The sides of my head never hurt. Only the back and behind my eyes. My doctor tried a migraine medication which did nothing. He finally ordered an MRI of my head and neck. They both came back normal. Since then I am still having the headaches at least one a week and sometimes up to three a week. I am very sensitive to light and my neck feels like it becomes a steel rod sticking into my head. I have been told to just take 1-2 hydrocodone every six hours and sleep. These headaches are different than any I've ever had before and I know something must be causing them. My question is "Is it possible to have an MRI (with contrast) and still have an undetected aneurysm?" Usually I can take 2 hydrocodone and some nausea meds and sleep for 8-10hrs and I'm better. Thank you for this page and for making people more aware.
Jason Bradney Jason Bradney from Moundsville, WV wrote on October 5, 2016 at 9:29 pm:
The last thing I remember was collapsing outside of the waiting room. I was heading inside the ER but never made it. It started two days before with a seemingly innocent headache. I took some aspirin like I usually do and went about my business, then went to bed. When I awoke, the headache was worse and for the next two days I was pretty much taking an overdose of over the counter headache meds every time to no avail. The headache kept getting worse and worse. I couldn't focus on anything but the pain. My head felt like it was going to pop. Finally, I called one of my friends and he came to take me to the hospital. Like I said, that's the last thing I remember. I woke up in a room. I was in a bed wearing a hospital gown and my head hurt so bad. There was this fluid build up that rippled when i moved my head. I had no idea who or where I was. I couldn't remember anything. Nothing. My mind was literally blank. So, with effort, I manged to get out of bed. I left my room and an Orderly found me wandering the halls. When I saw him I panicked because this wasn't the first time I woke up. I had done so many times before but always somewhere different and always utterly alone. Not a soul around anywhere. And suddenly there he was. Well, he managed to get me back into my bed and later that morning a different Orderly came and took me see a man whom I would come to know as my Neurosurgeon. His name was Dr. Krauth. Apparently, I had suffered from a Neural Arterial Aneurysm and I had spent nearly a week in ICU recovering and almost another two weeks in the Rehabilitation Unit I woke up in. Amnesia is one of the worst things to experience. I was surrounded by friends and family and I had absolutely no idea who any of them were. Dr. Krauth said the memory loss should be short term but when it would return was unknown. After some time he decided my amnesia was permanent and told my parents to make arrangements for me in a long term care facility because it was unlikely I would recover. Well, that never happened because a few days later I woke up with total recall. My NS was as baffled as everyone else but it happened. There's a lot more to my story than I have space to share. Suffice to say, I am fully recovered. This was over 20 years ago and I remember it like it happened yesterday. I never want to be that afraid again. I never want to be that alone again.
Christina Heaser Christina Heaser from Winona, MN wrote on October 5, 2016 at 5:21 pm:
I am John, Christina's husband. Christina is 43 yrs old and a mother of 7 children. On the morning August 29th 2015 I found Christina (Tina) laying on the garage floor. As a prior EMT I knew that she did not have much longer to live based upon how I found her. I immediately called 911 and she was transported to our local hospital in which it took them about 40 minutes to realize that she had suffered a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage. Our hospital did not have resources to help her so they asked where I wanted her to go, I told them Mayo in which Rochester, MN is an hour from where we live. I asked if they could get the helicopter but due to the fog they were unable to fly so she had to be transported by ambulance. Mayo had told the physicians at the hospital how to prepare her for transport and what medications to administer. When she finally made it to Rochester they immediately placed a drain tube into her scalp to release pressure and begin to remove some of the blood. I was informed that she had a very minimal chance of survival and was asked if I wished for them to continue to provide life support. of course my answer was to do whatever they could possibly do to maintain her life. After a few hours they took her into surgery to see if they could coil off the aneurysm, in which they were unsuccessful due to its size and the fact that there was 3 lobes coming off of it. They placed another drain tube in her scalp so she had one on each side of her brain due to the large amount of blood. They told me this was a grade 5 hemorrhage and that even if she could possibly survive, she may be severely handicapped. She spent 19 days in the ICU and an additional 29 days on a recovery floor where she was then transferred to a long term care facility. In December of 2015, I prepared plans for her care and modifications to our home to bring her home. On February 10th after modifications were complete and needed items were purchased we brought her home and she is now cared for by one of our daughters during my work hours and I provide cares the rest of the time. She has no short term memory, has moments of confusion, and has many physical handicaps but has began walking with assistance using a walker or by holding onto our hands. She has made great strides and I am so grateful for her still being here today and for how far she has came. For over a year before she had the hemorrhage, she had many headaches in which she had seen her Dr's and a few emergency room visits for. They even performed a CT scan after I requested that they check her brain to see if there was something causing the headaches at one of her ER visits, but because it was just a normal scan, they did not see the aneurysm because there was no bleed at that time. A couple of months later she also developed vertigo and was seen for that but only provided medication to help alleviate the vertigo. My wife quit going to the doctors after 10 months because she said that her Dr made her feel as if she was just seeking medications. Please do not allow medical staff to deter you if you think you need further testing. I wish I would have went back and demanded further testing after the vertigo started and now am extremely regretful for not doing so. Their lack of concern for the symptoms almost cost her life and possibly disabled for life and there is nothing we can do about it now. Please pay attention to any warning signs and heed immediate medical help from a professional, knowledgeable provider.

Our Foundation

The Lisa Foundation, a 501 (c)(3), is the leading private funder of Brain Aneurysm initiatives that directly or indirectly support awareness, education, research, and survivor support in the U.S.

Our Mission

To foster a national dialogue and understanding around Brain Aneurysms and drive better patient outcomes through pioneering education, research, and support.

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P.O. Box 13

Frankenmuth, MI 48734

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