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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.
Laura Leach Laura Leach from Bedford, In wrote on March 17, 2019 at 9:51 pm:
My name is Laura. I just turned 50 in June. My daughter was directing her highschool band at the town Christmas parade on December 1, 2018. That was my last memory! With no signs at all, I collapsed in my living room vomiting with a terrible headache. My family rushed me to the ER and then I was lifelined to Indianapolis. I remembered nothing of the trip, the surgery and it took a day for me to wake up. At my bedside were highschool friends from Michigan and it was then that I realized I must have been close to death. I wrote in my husband's hand to please tell me what happened and he did, reluctantly. I was in the hospital for a total of 1 month and over Christmas. My sister's family were there from Alabama, my parents barely left my side and my husband and 2 children were my rock! I thank my church and my entire town for lifting me up in prayer! It was by the grace of God that I was spared. I am fortunate to have survived and it's with a new lense that I view my life. It's a vapor and can end at any moment. I give God all the glory because so many good things came from it that would cause me to go through it all again knowing what I have now. I want to help anyone I can and am willing to share my story.
Patty Patty from Kingman, Arizona wrote on March 10, 2019 at 3:58 pm:
A few years ago I noticed a pulsing like “ringing” in my ears that sounded louder in my right ear when I turned my head sharply to the right. I began a medical work up. An MRA revealed a brain aneurysm. The neurosurgeon said it should be stented, but it was small and appeared stable so I could take my time to decide whether or not to have a stent placed. I informed my family about the diagnosis and decision I had to make. The very next day, my sister happened to see a commercial advertising the Lisa foundation. She called me and strongly suggested that I have the stent put in. I joined the foundation and read a lot of these stories and learned about brain aneurysms and the treatments. I scheduled the surgery and had a stent placed by Dr. Ducruet at Barrow Brain and Spine St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona on 2/27/19. After the procedure, the doctor said the aneurysm was much bigger than could be seen on the studies, so it was a good thing that I decided to have the procedure . I am recovering without any complications. I am so grateful to the Lisa foundation for helping me make this decision. The crazy thing is, I still have the ringing in my ears. It turns out the ringing sound is not even related to the aneurysm. When I woke up after the procedure and heard the ringing sound, I praised God for it, because I wouldn’t have found the aneurysm otherwise. I am so sorry that Lisa and so many others have not survived. I thank all of you for sharing your stories so that people like me have a better chance of survival.
Gabriella Gabriella from Italy wrote on March 2, 2019 at 9:00 am:
I'm a brain aneurysm survivor Gabriella
Melissa Kozenchik Melissa Kozenchik from Portage wrote on February 8, 2019 at 4:43 pm:
On August 30, 2016 I was starting my second shift of work at the mill. I walked outside to my car for something and had immediate pain in my head. I got dizzy and nauseous and was able to stumble back inside the building to the bathroom. I sat down and my arms and neck got stiff. I didn’t realize at the time that I was having a stroke. The ambulance was called and I was taken to the hospital where the first misdiagnoses happened. They told me I was having a migraine and was given medication. 2 days later my symptoms got worse and my sister took me to see another doctor. He shined light in my eyes and told me I was having migraines again. Either visit I had no testing or blood work done. Confused and in pain I went home and took more medication that did nothing but made me sick. After 5 days of the worst headache of my life and feeling nauseous and weak my husband took me to the emergency room. The doctor finally did a ct scan of my head after I told her my symptoms and what had happened. She got me comfortable in the room and I was given fluids. She walked in with the results of the scan and said I needed an mri done because of how much blood I had on my brain they couldn’t tell where it was coming from. After the mri she walked back in and sat down. She told me she was in contact with a neurosurgeon out of Advocate Christ Hospital in Illinois and that I was being transferred there immediately. I was admitted to the icu and was talking to the surgeon about having an angiogram done so he could determine where the blood was coming from. I had a 4 mm aneurysm rupture and was lucky to be alive. After a coiling surgery thru angiogram to fix the ruptured aneurysm I was in the icu for 5 days. I was told by so many that I was lucky to be alive especially after everything I had been thru. I had a subarachnoid hemorrhage in the back of my brain called the posterior inferior cerabellar artery. It’s extremely rare to have one there and of course I did. I was released home and had a followup appointment in 4 months. After another angiogram another aneurysm measuring 2 mm had grown in that time. We tried the coiling and a stent this time and that was unsuccessful. The only option was to have a craniotomy to clip the aneurysms off. 5 1/2 hours later and with a lot of pain I made it thru. Now after almost 2 years since the craniotomy I still have recurring headaches and numbness on my head. Aneurysms are not well known so I hope telling my story helps educate.
Aldina Stanley Aldina Stanley from North Haven Ct wrote on February 7, 2019 at 8:47 pm:
In May of 2004 I had two brain aneurysm surgeries one coiled and the other coiled. I went for a physical and my doctor noticed a birthmark on my chest and she sent me for a brain MRI because of the type of birthmark I have she wanted to make sure I didn’t have tumors in the brain ? I got a call from her after the MRI telling me that I did not have tumors but had two aneurysms in the optic nerves behind my eyes ? the only symptoms I had was pain in my eyes, the pain was so severe I kept going to my eye doctor who couldn’t find anything wrong. I just want to share my story because today a friend died at the age of 42 and she not only had pain in her eyes but also had severe headaches. I need to share my story and help people. I was lucky because if my PCP did not send me for the MRI I would not be here today.
CHARLES W KADLEC CHARLES W KADLEC from Laguna Woods wrote on January 7, 2019 at 9:31 pm:
I am told that at the end of a speech I was giving at the Pacific Club, I passed out and then sat down in a chair. I was rushed to a hospital. My good fortune was at the time I arrived, there was a staff meeting for surgeons. My vitals were stabilized in the emergency room. I then went into surgery. I am told that during surgery a hole was drilled into my skull to drain the blood. A Cather was inserted into a vein in my thigh and the surgeons were able to thread a device through my vein to my brain where the coils were used to seal the injured area. A tube was then inserted to drain the blood to my backbone. I remember none of this, but a friend who went with me to the hospital has told me what happened. At first I had a caregiver who would arrive at my home to take me to the gym. But, after learning to walk, I was able to pass the written and driving exam and earned my driver’s license that is restricted to prohibit driving on freeways. I no longer play golf but today I played competitive chess at the local chess club. I tried to swing a golf club but was unable to keep my balance. I now walk with a cane and am looking for an opportunity to help others who I could serve. For example I volunteered for the “friendly visitor program”, am an active member of my church. Regards, Chuck Kadlec
Francine Weitz Francine Weitz from Morganville wrote on January 2, 2019 at 2:57 pm:
Every day I wake up and ask myself this question. I am nothing special. I was just a workaholic accountant before my life changed. On December 20, 2010, while on vacation in Las Vegas with my husband and two close girlfriends having a good time, my life changed. I had a cerebral hemorrhage with a hemorrhagic stroke. I was lucking to be in a public area in a casino and was near a major trauma center in less than 30 minutes. I was 59 years old, 6 weeks shy of my 60th birthday. Healthy normal female. I was lucky because at first because of my age they thought it might be a stroke. But when they took CAT scans they saw the intracranial hemorrhage. I was lucky again because I had a wonderful doctor that had to stop the brain bleed by having surgery through my groin area to stop the bleeding in my head. It worked. But I was left in a coma for two months weeks (natural not drug induced) because of the brain trauma at Sunrise Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. While in the coma I had basal spasms that should have been fatal. I also had two blood clots that traveled into my arm and leg. They had to surgically implant mesh to break up the blood clots. I also had a blot clot in my lung. They call this an embolism and was treated with antibiotics to treat the pneumonia it left me with. When I started to come out of the coma into a comatose state I couldn't talk, stand, eat, know my love ones, everything in my mind was wiped clean. I had a tough road through multiple hospitals, rehabs, doctors, nurses, etc. that help me come back. I was flew back to New Jersey and was at JFK Hospital in Edison, a hospital that had a good brain trauma center. It took 7 months before I learned how to drink a little water with supervision. No one knew if I was going to get better, since I was so unique. Even my neurologist in New Jersey, Dr. Thomas Stenakye was a pediatric neurologist. No one really knew what caused it, or what I would be like It is now years since that day. I am writing this letter to you. I can read, cook and even drive locally. . My husband says I am about at 80% which is better than most people at 100%. I am reliving my life twice. My memory from 20-30 years ago is crystal clear. I remember old addresses, telephone numbers and events. My memories are so clear. I wonder why I was saved and I lost so many good friends to cancer at a young age. Since I've been home, the biggest problem has been the crippling fatigue - although I do have problems with short-term memory, face recognition, concentration and something called "divided attention". I also had problems finding the right words for things. I have vertigo all the time. My cerebellum was damaged and I have vision problems because of optic nerve damage. I am always dizzy (vertigo) and nauseous. I see flashing lights and floaters. I will never be normal. I lost three years of my life I can never get back. I missed 3 years of my 7 year old granddaughter and 4 year old grandson and the last 3 years of my mother's life. I lost income. I also have caused my husband and sons with terrible grief, pain, financial problems and frustration. I am not religious or spiritual, but I think I am alive and getting better every day because I do not want this to happen to anyone else. I still have cognitive difficulties, and vertigo due to the brain trauma I went through. I am disability and receive social security disability and long term care insurance payments. I have terrible flash backs of not being able to use my legs or arms. I couldn't even scratch an itch or brush a fly off my face. I do not know how people live like that. I have flash back of being in the coma. Of pain and modesty. I remember everything in the coma. I felt hot and cold, wet and dry, heard voices but I was too tired to open my eyes. The only time I was in the hospital was to have my children. The only drug I took was Zocor (Simvastatin) I believe these drugs caused this to me. You can go online and see many articles that state it. I was too old to have an AVM. Francine Weitz
Vikki Munro Vikki Munro from Fargo wrote on December 26, 2018 at 3:13 pm:
Sept 21 2018 I was brought to the er. I remember nothing. Drs didn't know what I had. After a week they found 6 brain aneurysms. I ended up with 6 mini strokes on my right side. Sept 26 i was having seizures and died. I don't remember 2 weeks of my life. Was in the ICU for a month. Still not feeling good but have to carry on
Jen P Jen P from Tonawanda wrote on December 24, 2018 at 8:54 am:
My mother story began 12 years ago when she started having issues with her head. She kept going to doctors upon doctors and nothing was working for her head. They told her it was anxiety they told her she needed to go to a chiropractor but nothing was helping. 5 years ago in May my mother suffered it brain aneurism. She said it was probably one of the scariest moments of her life. She was at work as A-day care director, and she started getting the worst headache of her life and so much pressure on her head. She was rushed to the hospital and and luckily 1 of the children's fathers who was a nerosurgeon saw the name and immediately came over and said don't worry we will take care of you. She was in the ICU for 2 and a half weeks. And luckily she is alive and she is also passed the 5 year mark. I am so grateful for the doctors at Buffalo general hospital in Buffalo New York they saved my mother's life and I'm so grateful for them.
Carol Carol from Brooklyn, New York wrote on December 24, 2018 at 8:24 am:
Hello I am a survivor of 2 aneurysms. The first one was when I was 27 years old. I walked up my stairs after a long cold day of work bent over to take off my shoes and it burst. I was rushed to one hospital. After being there for 6 hours I was being mixed and was told the hospital did not have the facility to take care of my problem. I was taken to a wonderful hospital where they did my surgery .. They had to open my skull and clip it. I lost the use of my eye for 6 months but got it back. So very Grateful.. My second time was while in vacation in Italy Set. 14 2018.. Still in shock that after 2 Operations and a month I. The hospital I made it back home and had to have yet another operation ... All that is left for me to say is I am a very lucky women to have survived this 2 times. My friends and family joke thT I am a walk g hardware store with 2 metal clips, 2 platinum coils, and 2 platinum stents in my head... I do have some deficits but I still have my sense of humour and my life. GRATEFUL.....
Mikaela Hoaglin Mikaela Hoaglin from Springfield wrote on December 23, 2018 at 1:04 am:
Onin September 2011was only 14 years old I had all of the basic symptoms of an aneurysm my mom took me to the ER where they told me it sounded like i only had the flu and itd have to run its course well I continued throwing up still had the worst headache of my life and blurry vision for the next week my mom took me to my primary care doctor where he said it sounded like I had a bleeding aneurysm so he sent me back to the ER for a cat scan where they found I had a minor brain aneurysm that had been slowly bleeding for the past week they decided to try and coil it so they didnt have to perform brain surgery to someone at my age that only worked about 80 percent before they had to stop surgery well then on November first I had all of the same symptoms plus double vision so I was rushed back to the ER where they did a cat scan where I had a massive brain aneurysm rupture and was only minutes from bleeding to death I was rushed in for emergency brain surgery and because of the coils from the previous surgery if caused a blood clot and I then suffered a major stroke causing me go now have been partially paralyzed on the entire left side of my body for the past seven years and permanently legally blind
Sherry woodall Sherry woodall from Montgomery wrote on December 9, 2018 at 8:51 pm:
On December 4th,2018 my mother died from an aneurysm she just kept complaining about headaches and then she blanked out and my step father rushed her to the hospital and that’s when they explained that she had a bleeding aneurysm so they air lifted her to another hospital where they performed sergury but they said they couldn’t get her pressure down and she died she was just 51 she had high blood pressure and sugar my life will never be the same
Jennifer Bergan Jennifer Bergan from Longwood wrote on November 12, 2018 at 6:16 am:
I have been and operated on at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. I had approximately 9 surgeries on my Spine and base of my Skull. I have been on over 46 medications, to try to relieve some of my head pains. I then went to 23 or more -- (acertain type of Dr.) But have been to probably 56 different Doctors. I have done things to my body, head, scalp that I do not wish upon an enemy. I have had things shoved into my skull, under my scalp, trying to get rid of my head pains. I am currently on only 2 medications but I am unable to be ...a human being, yet still, after 9 years of HELL!
Michelle Michelle from Olmsted Falls wrote on November 10, 2018 at 4:46 pm:
Thinking that my Trigeminal Neuralgia was getting worse, I went to my primary doctor who has been wonderful and knowledgeable with Trigeminal Neuralgia. He set me up for MRI, two denials later, I find myself getting a emergency appointment with a neurologist. I didn't know why as I wasn't told and when neurologist office offered later appointment, my doctors office said, tell them you have an aneurysm! So I found out over the phone. Found out later it was missed by two neurologists and had it since 2004. It is 7 mm , had an Angiogram in September and am now on a wait and watch with MRI in a year. Neurologist said it is stable and I do trust him , but this thing is in me and living with both the aneurysm and Trigeminal Neuralgia is hard.
jacinto jacinto from ORLAND HILLS wrote on November 1, 2018 at 9:59 pm:
I am a survivor it happen at work it hit my forehead I can smell and taste every thing in the air it was so intense I almost blacked out I fought it then I blow it off the following week it hit me again this time vomiting but when it hit it was like a spray in side my head its hard to describe the feeling I was blacking as I was walking as soon as I felt better I when to the immediate care I told the doctor my symptoms she was not happy I should have gone to the emergency room that she was going to call me an ambulance I said no ill drive so I did the doctor I seen at the emergency was confused I should not be walking or talking with the symptoms I had a half hour questions I told him I feel fine now and told he was going to let me go but if this happens go to an emergency room well I was waiting to be check out when the nurse shows up and says the doctor wants to take a cat scan will that be alright I say yes as soon as they put me in the cat I was vomiting the nurse asked me if I was closterfobic I told her no and again she asked they put back in my room 20m later the doctor shows up says I have bleeding in the brain that and that they do not have a neuro section and that the other hospital is full so he sends to the 15 miles away and there are three doctors are waiting for me I get there they tell me first we will coil if not a clipping I did not now what to think well they took me in I woke up i called for my wife found its been a week since the operation they I notice I cant see out of my right eye hours later my wife and doctor say I had three brain aneurysms he clipped the first it was 4 hours then he found a second it took 10 hours to clip because he tried not to push on my brain any more and tried to go around my optical nerve but he did touch it I found my self with staples another hole in my head and spine but in three weeks i was back home but cant left any more then ten lbs. because of the clips and the 3rd they are going to coil the most painful thing is the pstd and anxiety I could not sleep for weeks and my eye I 10 percent thru it the rest is like electrical cloud it still drives me nuts but at times it feels like I have both eyes this all started on 2014 feb 4
Connie Sampson Connie Sampson from Temecula wrote on October 25, 2018 at 6:00 pm:
Hello my name is Connie and I am a brain aneurysm survivor. I experienced it on my twin daughters 31st birthday November 8, 2017. On the morning of that day I got up not feeling well. As every morning I reminded my teenage son to make sure he locked the front door as he left for school but because I wasnt feeling well I refrained from reminding him to do so. He kissed me and shut the door. As I do every morning I check to ensure he locked the doir and then go into the bathroom to bath but because I began feeling worst I changed my mind and went back to lay down. As I laid down the room began spinning and God told me to get on my knees to pray. While I began praying God also told me to reach for my cellphone to hit 0, so I did. Well, thank God I did. I woke up a month later to see that I was in a hospital. It saved my life and so did my son. First he left the door unlocked which gave the paramedics access into my home and when he discovered my car was still there and furniture moved around he contacted his dad to tell him. When my husband got home he contacted my job to find out that I never showed for work, which was uncommon and through a neighbor told him they seen someone taken away by ambulance. I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and so grateful God has placed all the medical professionals, family and friends in my life. Still I am recovering and looking forward to enjoying my life.
Karyn Taylor Karyn Taylor from Cardiff, UK wrote on October 21, 2018 at 1:36 pm:
I am a survivor my anurysm happened this year 2/18/18. Had the worst headache for one day then it subsided, I went to the ER only to be told I had a sinus infection then two days later I had double vision after putting up with this for 2 days I returned to the ER and was given an MRI and CT scan where they found an unruptured aneurysm. The doctors said a thick blister was covering it and that's what prevented it from bursting. I had an embolization where it was coiled and a Stent put in. I lost the use of my right eye for 4 months but was so happy when my vision returned. Although I suffer from anxiety and mild headaches I am truly thankful to be alive. I was hospitalized for 5 weeks and thanks to the great care I received from the consultants and nurses I am slowly on the road to recovery.
Jasun Edelman Jasun Edelman from Los Angeles CA wrote on October 20, 2018 at 12:08 am:
I was attending a famous party and some large decorations hit me in the head. I was in and out of a coma for a week in Intensive care at the hospital. I had some bleeding of the brain. I was sent home without treatment? A few months later I still had such bad headache's, I was sleeping all the time. almost like I was in a coma again. A friend called the doctor and related my condition, I was taken for MRI. Two hours later I had brain surgery for Brain Aneurysm. "The Doctor said if I had not come in when I did I would not be here." The Doctors I talked too. . . will not admit it? but I feel A bad TBI brain injury can possibly cause Brain Aneurysms?
Gerri Rinne Gerri Rinne from Jacksonville wrote on October 13, 2018 at 11:56 am:
On January 18, 2006 while taking a shower before work, I felt a very sharp pain in my right eye. It felt like an ice pick stabbing me in the eye. Next thing I know I'm on my hands and knees on the shower floor. I got up, got dried off, got dressed, fixed my hair, then called my husband who was working out of town at the time and told him what happened and that I was going to go to the navy hospital about 12 miles away. I didn't know what happened but I knew not to lay down. I called work and told them what I told my husband. I drove to the hospital, not smart but didn't know better, and told them that thought I passed out in the shower. I was rushed to have a CT scan and that's when they saw that I had a ruptured brain aneurysm and my head was full of blood. I was transported to a hospital downtown to see one of only two surgeons who knew about aneurysms in the whole state of Florida. He told me what was going to happen and how dangerous the surgery was and all I wanted was the headache to go away so I didn't care. I don't know how long the surgery took but I have 3 coils in my head and the bleed was stopped. I spent 9 days in intensive care and 2 days in a regular room before I could go home. I was out of work for 13 weeks. In my 6 month check up the CT scan showed a second aneurysm. It was too small to do anything about then so I was told to get a CT scan every 9-12 months. That was almost 13 years ago and I still have the 2nd aneurysm. The latest CT scan did show some growth but still too small to fix. I have no side effects but I am taking 2 different blood pressure meds and a handful of other meds since the rupture. I always had headaches but not like that one so now I take better care of me and I don't let anything raise my blood pressure because that can make the 2nd aneurysm grow. I have a guardian angel watching over me and I thank God that I'm alive to see my grandkids every day.
Chris Velte Chris Velte from Oklahoma City wrote on October 13, 2018 at 11:43 am:
I am sitting here today with two in my brain. July 2018 the docs went in to do a stent and coil process called ELVIS through my groin. It did not work. They tried entry through my left arm. No go. One is a 5cm broad neck and the other behind my right eye at cm. I keep myself very aware not to stress myself by lifting too much and being aware of my head positoin. A walking time bomb I am. Three years ago a sister had one bleed and survived wonderfully! We both have a kidney disease and sure enough both of us have aneurysms. In 2001 my brother in law (of same sister) died of an aneurysm just when the coiling process came out. I'm keeping the faith.

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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.

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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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Frankenmuth, MI 48734

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