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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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247 entries.
Myra Myra from Omak wrote on March 21, 2019 at 5:37 pm
Hello ! I have had a total of 4 of Brian surgery , there is 2 on my left and 2 on the right . So I had them in 2015
Wyliette Johnson Wyliette Johnson from Bronx wrote on March 20, 2019 at 9:02 pm
January 2015, I heard a pop in my head while talking to my adult son. I collapsed hard to the floor. All I could hear was my son screaming but I could not see him visually. I knew that I was having an aneurysm and I always knew I would have one. My younger sister had one and survived. That was the worse pain. The last thing I remember is hearing the EMS person saying this lady has no oxygen going to her brain. I was in a coma for 4 months. Each day my husband and son was told that it was touch and go. Westchester Medical Center saved my life along with the prayers from family. When i finally woke up, I knew nothing. I have told the rest of my siblings that aneurysms are hereditary. God bless Lisa and her family.
Andrea Anderson Andrea Anderson from Brooklyn wrote on March 20, 2019 at 7:32 pm
I'm A survival Lady from an Brain aneurysm!, I gone under 15 hours of surgery, MY beautiful Dr. Eric Cardozo, Chairman Neurologist at Methodist Hospital, Brooklyn NY, has saved my life❤️,,, the ambulance brought me in with a B/p 200/150,,,,they announce ME dead and still breathing!,,,, Dr Cardozo was called in for surgery and arrive at 6am and asked the nurses"where's the young woman who came in,,,, they replied,"she's right there",,, Dr Cardozo walked over to me and asked"how do you feel",,, iiiiiiiiiii replied"I'm waiting on you, NOW let's go and fixed WHAT'S wrong,,,, I was high A's A kite,,, they sedated me with med's and I was floating,,,, the pain felt A's if someone picked up a building and place it right On top of my head!!!! Even the Tear's hurt!,,,,,1996",,,, April 1, and when my family was called, they thought I was playing A April fool's joke, that the hospital had to call them 3x's ,,,, and when they came ALL together the Tear's and sorrow!,,, Dr Cardozo gave them 3options:,,,, either She will DIE during surgery or brain dead or paralyzed,,,,, and today I'm A survival Lady with my Masters Degree,,,, and walking, talking, dancing and singing and humming sound and loving life. JEHOVAH BLESSED me with a lot of time to give to myself and make changes,,,,, Thank you for allowing me to share my world.?
Brandon Brandon from Wood-Ridge wrote on March 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm
On April 8th 2018, I called out sick from work with a headache, spent the day in bed. Next morning I woke up and began the morning routine, getting my wife out the door for school, went outside to start her car and my vision was off, felt a little dizzy, thought maybe I got up too fast. Went back in the house and knew something was wrong, all of a sudden I felt as if I got stabbed in the back of the head! Had my wife call 911 immediately! The color started leaving my face and I became weak an unable to hold myself up. EMT’s, police, and volunteer firefighters took great care of me. I never lost consciousness but was out of it. Made it to the hospital, after a few tests my wife was told I had a ruptured brain aneurysm and needed emergency surgery. Spent the next 20 days in the ICU. If not for the incredible people involved throughout my ordeal I wouldn’t be here to tell my story. I was blessed with a full recovery, after rehab and hard work, I went back to work as a professional firefighter. Life is good, I’m one of the lucky ones, I do wonder why me when so many aren’t as fortunate? I’m so sorry for your loss, prayers to the Colagrossi family...
Maureen Brown Maureen Brown from Walden wrote on March 20, 2019 at 2:24 pm
On December 1, 2017 I was preparing to go out when I sneezed, I suddenly felt my neck getting stiff and a headache starting, I cancelled my plans and decided to rest as I thought I pulled a neck muscle when I sneezed. Monday December 4, 2017 I decided to go to the ER because my neck was still stiff and I was experiencing the worst headache of my life, it was my birthday. Once I explained my symptoms to the ER doctor he immediately ordered a CAT scan and spinal tap, before long I was being transferred to another hospital that was more suited to care for the brain aneurysm they had discovered. The next morning I had a cerebral angiogram in which a second aneurysm was discovered, thankfully the large one behind my eye was able to be coiled the smaller second one located at the base of my brain was too small for coiling, I have annual angiograms so it can be monitored. I still don’t know why or what made me sneezed that day but it definitely saved my life. I feel like that birthday was the second time I was giving to start my life again.
Michelle Michelle from Spokane wrote on March 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm
Hi, on November 30th 2017, I was in the shower when I experienced the worst pain in my life. I felt like someone either hit me in the back of my head with a 2x4 or got shot. The pain dropped me to my knees, when I could finally get rinsed and out of the shower, I had to crawl across the room to be able to sit down. I just sat there for a while until I could stand and look in the mirror to see if my facial features were even. They were, so stupidly I go to work until I can't stand it anymore and finally call the nurses hotline for my insurance. She told me to immediately go to the ER. After a CTSCAN and a spinal tap I was told that I had a 6mm aneurysm and needed to see a neurosurgeon. Luckily, my aneurysm didn't rupture and I was able to get it clipped March 21st 2017. Almost exactly a year later and I still am experiencing post craniotomy headaches and depression. But I'm very happy to be able to tell my story, but I still wonder why I was chosen to live when so many die from aneurysms they didn't even know they had.
Dawn Prue Dawn Prue from Apache Junction wrote on March 19, 2019 at 11:53 am
I woke up on Thursday morning before my alarm clock with this horrible headache so I walked out to the kitchen to make some coffee. Then realized that I forgot to buy coffee the day before. I figured that that was why I had the headache, so I drank some ice tea.I got into the shower, and wondered how did I get shampoo in both eyes? When I got out of the shower, I looked in the mirror, and I had no white in either eye. Made my husband get up so we could go to work. Yes, I did stop and buy a coffee. Had the headache all day, nothing would put a dent in it. Friday was the same thing. Saturday, we had an evening BBQ with family, and I bumped heads with an adult niece, I thought maybe that would fix the headache. Nope. I went to bed that night in horrible pain, I prayed that God would please take the pain away. I woke up a month later with the right side of my head shaved. I had a subarachnoid ruptured communicating artery brain aneurysm at home, during the surgery to repair it, it ruptured twice. And that is my story.
Robin Remson Robin Remson from Riverview, wrote on March 18, 2019 at 9:30 am
I work with children on the Autism Spectrum. November of 2014 my principal and I were in a room with a child who was having behavior difficulties. The short version is he was let go and went after me. I was hurt went to workers compensation, but never felt right. The right side of my face went numb. I was sent to a neurologist and then my mother had heart problems and I took care of her. I was suppose to have a cat scan, but never did. I took care of my mom and went back to work the middle of January. I received an email reminding me about the cat scan. I went and had it done and the neurologist went over the results and thought it was calcium. He sent me for an MRI and an MRA. I was sitting in the parking lot after the MRA and the neurologist ‘s office called and wanted me to come in that day. I hah never heard about brain aneurysms before, but that is what they told me I had. No history in my family that we were aware of. I can say that I was very emotional before I knew I had an aneurysm and I think for me that may have been a symptom. My interventionist’s office called the same day to get me in to see the doctor. My aneurysm was coiled 4 years ago on March 17, 2015. The aneurysm was 13 mm x 8mm x 8mm with a 3mm neck, I have 15 ft of platinum coils in my brain. Not that you want to be injured ..... that child saved my life. I am very blessed!
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

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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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