Share Your Story

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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247 entries.
Carol Stevens Carol Stevens from LaHarpe IL wrote on October 16, 2016 at 10:45 pm
I am a survivor! My brain aneurysm ruptured on May 12, 1015. Being a migraine sufferer, I knew the horrible headache I was having was not a migraine. I had gone home from work for lunch, and as I was ready to sit down, It felt like someone hit me in the head with a ball bat. On a scale of 1-10, I told the doctors it was a 20+. I was unable to lay down or sit. My husband came home and took me to ER where they found the brain bleed on a CT scan. My doctor told me a helicopter was waiting to take me to the University of Iowa Hospital. I was taken to surgery where they went through the groin to the brain and put the coil/clip. I was hospitalized 10 days. After home, I continued to have headaches for 1 month until the blood from the bleed was absorbed into my body. I had 6 weeks of occupational and physical therapy and was off work for 13 weeks. I am one of the lucky ones. I have minimal side effects and tell myself I shouldn't be here. Prayer worked wonders. My roommate came in with the same thing but passed away not long after I was admitted. I have a better outlook on life than before. My angiogram at the 6 month mark showed the coil was not leaking and was in place. I was given a second chance at life. Thank you God.
Ashley Naylor Ashley Naylor from Wichita wrote on October 12, 2016 at 9:40 am
A good friend of mine lost his wife to a Brain Aneurysm August 10th. She collasped while she was at Crossfit on August 4th and was rushed to the hospital. That following day, she was sent to surgery to repair the aneurysm and it was a success but this event had caused an enormous toll on her brain. Many sections of her brain were essentially "dead" and in the event of her waking up, she would have most likely been a "vegetable" the remainder of her life. So, with careful consideration and her wants, her husband took her off life support. This has hit home with me because it IS true when they say life is too short. Raising awareness is quite possibly the best solution. In some cases, lives have been saved because of pre-diagnosis. This is wonderful! If we can use the tragic events in "our" lives to help others and possibly prevent tragedy, then it's a "win win" for all of us. He's doing as well as he can. He was married for 15 years and they have a three year old daughter. He's an inspiration to everyone around him and her legacy will live on through him and their daughter. I hope by sharing this post helps others cope with whatever situation they may be in.
Jasonja Ward Jasonja Ward from Rowlett wrote on October 10, 2016 at 11:25 pm
I suffered a brain aneurysm in 1995, just one week after delivering my only child. It was due to an epidural needle that actually taped my spine, set up a clot, then raced to my brain and ruptured. It reminded me of an atomic bomb going off in my head. Sixteen hours had passed, along with complete loss of vision before I finally had my husband race through emergency. That was on a Tuesday. The hospital took every test imaginable on my brain, finding yet another aneurysm sitting in the center of my brain stem. By that Thursday, my doctor informed me of what happened and that he, along with the several other doctors involved, didn't understand why I was still able to talk and communicate. My brain actually swelled. My doctor did however inform me that I wouldn't survive a surgery, and by all indications, I would be dead by the weekend. Being told that there is absolutely nothing that can be done from a doctor is a lonely, lonely place. However, what precluded me from be helpless was the power of prayer. Twenty-one years later, I'm still here, no surgery of any kind, and the second aneurysm just went away. Dr. Duke Sampson was the last doctor to see me, two months after the rupture of the first aneurysm. Dr. Sampson stated that the second aneurysm had to be removed or if I so much as bump a wall, it could rupture. So on the date of the scheduled surgery, one last angiogram was conducted, however, there was nothing there. I was then released from the hospital and sent home to gain a new life. I'm currently writing a book about my journey as I've not found anyone to date that has experienced the same trauma to the brain as I, and recovered on their own. I totally depended on God everyday and still do. I knew that if woke up every morning and could just breathe, I knew somehow, God was working it all out for me. My daughter is now 21 years of age. I'm a business owner, I'm productive and profitable. I know that my journey is not yet over, so I just keep breathing.
Mary Mary from Newcastle wrote on October 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm
In 2007 I fell flat on my face, could not move, when I could, I went to bed for 3 days with a headache. I finally went to the ER and found out I had a ruptured brain aneurysm. I flew to the Mayo clinic and they found 2*more. One at the base of my brain and spinal chord connection. I am a survivor with minimal effects. I own my own business and am doing well. My mother died of 5 brain aneurysms
Leslie mosmomm Leslie mosmomm from Albuquerque wrote on October 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm
My son passed away on August 14, 2016 we were watching TV and he just fell over I thought that he had choked on some food but it was a brain aneurysm he had no symptoms nothing appeared to be wrong we were having a good day and everything was great now I'm without my wonderful 18-year-old son life will never be the same
Donna M Dugo Donna M Dugo from Canandaigua NY wrote on October 8, 2016 at 10:22 am
I am a brain aneurysm survivor since 2007.
Stacy Farrell Stacy Farrell from Glenpool OK wrote on October 8, 2016 at 9:28 am
After 15 years He is still alive. My dad had 2 brain ane
Michael Michael from Alameda wrote on October 7, 2016 at 5:49 pm
My story is a perfect example of what not to do. I hope people learn from my story. On May 3, 2016 I was at work and experienced what I could best explain as a sudden intense hot flash feeling with intense sweating followed by the worst headache I have ever had. I told my coworker I was not feeling well and drove home. I told my wife I thought I was sick and felt nauseous. I took a shower and went to sleep. I woke up 6 hours later took some Advil and a shower and drove to work. I lasted about 4 hours at work and couldn't stand the headache any more. I went home and went to bed. I called in sick on my Friday and had Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off. I spent those days at home taking Advil and a hot shower every 4 hours to ease the horrible pain from my headache. I was also throwing up. Tuesday I called in sick and told my wife to call an ambulance. I went to the emergency room and the Doctor ordered an MRI. The results were inconclusive. The ER Doctor consulted a Neurologist at another hospital. They gave me a spinal tap and found blood in my spinal fluid. They shipped me to another hospital where the Neurologist was. Upon arrival the Doctor met me and told me he was 99.9% sure he saw an aneurysm on the MRI. The Doctor attempted to coil the aneurysm but was unable to complete it successfully due to a blister on it. I had waited so long to go to the hospital that it blistered. Plan b was to perform the craniotomy surgery. The next day after 7 hours of surgery the Doctor was able to place the clamp on it successfully. I am doing well with no problems or side effects today. I am on no medication. I am very lucky. The moral of my story is never ignore a headache, especially the worst one you have ever had in your lifetime. Six days is too long to suffer from a headache. Spread the word. I am so sorry for the loss of your wife.
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.

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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The Lisa Foundation

Administrative Office & Mailing Address

P.O. Box 13

Frankenmuth, MI 48734

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