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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.


The Lisa Foundation

Shared Stories of Brain Aneurysms

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215 entries.
Edna Y. Campuzano Edna Y. Campuzano from New York wrote on August 28, 2018 at 2:59 pm:
On October 29, 2017 I had an aneurysm (SAH). Thank God and the team at Mount Sinai Hospital on Amsterdam and on Madison Avenues in Manhattan working with my Neuro Surgeon Dr. Mocco, I am here today to tell my story. I got an intense pain above my right eye and it was so bad that I called 911. All I remember is my daughter and the paramedics coming to my aid and then I must have passed out because I remember waking up in the hospital bed and seeing my daughter and ex husband. I recall bits and pieces of visits I had from a few dear friends and a young man explaining coiling and how it was the best method they would use to stop the bleed. Then I had the best dreams ever where I saw beautiful colors and recall asking God to take care of my little girl and seeing clouds forming hands holding my daughter. Whether it was a divine revelation that everything would be okay or my injury, I accepted it all. I stood in the hospital for nearly three weeks. The physical therapy department helped me get on my feet and walking around the ward and then on my own. It was not easy as I saw everything double and needed to wear an eye patch. I also had difficulty hearing out of my right ear and my appetite at first was not so good. I eventually ate pretty much everything that was given to me including all of the medication and it was a lot. I needed to take sodium pills because for some reason my brain kept causing my body to flush all my sodium. I was in so much pain and discomfort. The Nursing department at Mount Sinai was the best. These nurses kept me pain free as possible and content. Both daytime and especially the night time nurses. I never knew I could have an aneurysm. I had been caring for my mother at home with the help if my daughter who is the only biological granddaughter and a few if our close friends. We suffered from caregiver fatigue and pretty much exhausted ourselves managing my mom who had been diagnosed the previous year with Lewy Body Dementia and it quickly debilitated her. She lost her battle with her illness and now I am left to manage my 91 year old father with my daughter's help. Today I take the steps necessary to ensure this a aneurysm does not happen again. I am scheduled to have an Angiogram soon and hopefully nothing further is found. Dr. Mocco tells me that the recovery is between one and two years and my primary doctor, Dr. Gary Carpenter assures me that he will monitor me closely to make sure I do recover completely. Dr. Carpenter was able to see that I am anemic and have Vitamin D deficiency. He referred ne to a great Cardiologist Dr. Gina Day to make sure I am clear for my upcoming Angiogram. I am thankful for the medical attention I had and I continue to have right now. Lesson learned is to value yourself and if you face the challenge of caring for a loved one that no one else wants to take care of like I faced, ask for professional help so you do not exhaust yourself.
Norma Sabol Norma Sabol from Norwalk wrote on August 22, 2018 at 12:13 pm:
My mother's story is similar to the ones I have been reading. She presented with a horrible headache. My sister lives right next door and is a nurse so she called her. She took one look at her and called an ambulance. She was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm at our local hospital and then sent to a more specialized hospital. The initial procedure went very well and we were very hopeful. However, they warned us that the next 12-21 days would be crucial and very touch and go. Over the course of the next 12 days she would have 6 procedures to open up her veins to prevent further bleeding. What they don't tell you is that the treatment for preventing further brain aneurysms is to keep your blood pressure high. This is what ultimately killed her. On day 13, she died on the operating table. Her heart stopped and ours broke. This was in March 2018 and our lives have not been the same since. Very soon after that, there was a major league pitcher who had an aneurysm on the field and collapsed. He underwent the same treatment and is now alive, well, and will likely be playing again. That is the difference between a healthy, 30 year old heart, and an unhealthy 77 year old heart. My mother's just couldn't handle it anymore. My sisters, my father, and I are all so grateful to the amazing staff at the hospital who kept her alive for 13 days so that we could shower her with immense love and to thank her for being the wonderful mother, wife, grandmother that she was. We miss her every day.
Jocelynne DeVille Jocelynne DeVille from Edson wrote on August 20, 2018 at 1:01 pm:
October 29 2013, my mom had a massive brain aneurysm at the age of 57. I discovered her in the bathroom and dialed 911, after being air lifted to a city hospital she was pronounced brain dead and placed on life support. We spent three days in hospital with her saying our goodbyes and finalizing her wish for organ donation. This was the worst time of my life to date. My mom was my best friend, and was an amazing and world class human being. I miss her every day! She had no warnings that we are aware of, she rarely suffered headaches but believe she must have been struggling with one that morning, as she had a bottle of Advil on the counter. She was a non smoker, and non drinker. She did suffer from elevated blood pressure and had a very stressful event happen the night before (discovered her father and nephew were in hospital). I was told by her neuro surgeon in hospital that there is a chance that this was hereditary and that I and my sister should get checked out. I had planned to get checked sooner than later, however got pregnant with my daughter (my mom's first grandchild) two months after her passing. After waiting till my daughter was a year old I got checked and sure enough they found a 8mm aneurysm, which I soon there after got coiled. It has been three years now and I have been going for annual MRIs to have it checked and it all looks good. Having lived through my mom's passing and being a new first time mother I was scared! I knew that I had to get checked and I had to have the surgery no matter how scared I was.....for my daughter's sake. I never suffered headaches or blood pressure issues before and now since having surgery I am more prone to headaches. I try now to raise awareness about the early detection and saving lives, if I can prevent one other person from experiencing this then this has all been worth it.
Margarita Farras Margarita Farras from Holmdel,NJ wrote on August 20, 2018 at 3:08 am:
I am Margie Farras. In 2016 I was diagnosed with having a few brain aneurysms. It started when I kept getting quick blackouts. I fell in the shower, in the bathroom, and about 3 times down the stairs. I told my doctor and he sent me to a neurologist. I went and he sent me for an MRI. It came back negative. I was very upset I didn't know what to do. I then had symptoms of a mild stroke, but my doctor mistook it for a virus. I was in the hospital, but no one did a scan of my head. I went back to the neurologist and he sent my for and MRA and that is when my whole life changed, he saw a small spot on the brain. He then sent me to a neurosurgeon. He sent me for a CT scan and that is when he told me that not only did he see one but three. After that it was like a nightmare that you just can't wake up from. I was sent to a doctor in MT Sinai, in NYC. I was scheduled for an angiogram. After that they discussed with me what was going to happen next. They scheduled me for surgery the following week. They said that there was one that needed to be addressed right away because it had rigges that it would need a stent and that they could not do the coil procedure. If it was smoother then they would. They did the procedure and I was in ICU for 2 day. They scan and do angiograms every so often to see if there are any changes with the aneurysms. So far so good. The one that they fixed blood keeps seeping in, but he does not want to put another stent. I feel like a ticking time bomb waiting to happen. I don't know when I will get the worst headache of my life and then lights out.??
Cheryl McVeigh Cheryl McVeigh from Riverside wrote on August 18, 2018 at 3:26 pm:
I always had my family and friends over to my house on Easter Sunday to celebrate. I made it a big deal for the children with personalized baskets, pinatas, a jumper and of course lots of food and treats. Because of the mess afterwards I always took the Monday after off work to clean. On Tuesday, the 22nd, I was on my last break when my nose suddenly felt numb and itchy at the same time. I wiped the tip of my nose with the top of my knuckle and when I looked there was a very tiny blood clot. My first thought was I was going to have a nosebleed so I went back to my desk to relax and put my head back. Nothing more happened so I finished my shift and left work. As I was driving home while stopped at a light I looked up at 3 palm trees in a center divider planter start to hopscotch over each other and knew I was in trouble. I made my left turn & pulled over. Luckily I wasn't far from home so when I felt better I started driving again. My daughter, son in law and 3yr old granddaughter were getting ready to leave & I asked them to wait until I put my things in the house so I could say hi to my granddaughter. They were remodeling my house with a family friend who was still inside finishing the cleanup of the days work. He asked me what I'd like to have done the next day & when I tried to answer him I started to stutter and my words were slurred. According to him I went very pale and moved like I was in slow motion so he told me to go lay down and he'd check on me in 5 minutes. I made it to my room but screamed then collapsed and my head went between my bed frame and nightstand. Luckily he heard my stream and came running. He carried me outside and yelled for my daughter to call 911. I started seizing and vomiting then my eyeballs popped out. I had blown 2 brain aneurysms, one on each side & just above each eye. It took 5 days and 3 hospital transfers to get stable enough for surgery and to also find a neurosurgeon who was knowledgeable enough to do the surgeries necessary to save my life. The hospital told my family I only had a 1% chance of survival and they should make funeral arrangements asap. My family was also told if I did survive I'd most likely be in a vegetative state for the rest of my life. I have had 4 brain surgeries in total and have proven the hospital wrong. I went back to work a year later, I'm walking, talking, cooking, driving, etc. I'm actually in the medical books and journals because I am the only known person to have suffered double brain aneurysms to survive and be completely functional again. I do have memories and skills that I've lost such as other languages I was fluent in and instruments I used to be able to play but I have my precious family including many more grandbabies and amazing son in laws our family has been blessed to include. I honestly think that if I had had any other neurosurgeon I wouldn't have survived let alone be functional. Thank you Dr. Marc Vanefsky. Your still mine and my family's hero ?
Megan Bacigalupo Megan Bacigalupo from Minneapolis wrote on August 9, 2018 at 9:32 am:
Please feel free to share my story on your blog or wherever Thanks Megan Survivor of a subarachnoid hemorrhage and stoke
Lauren Daly Lauren Daly from Liverpool wrote on July 24, 2018 at 10:50 am:
I am writing this entry on behalf of my mum, Carol Ann Daly. My mum died on the 3rd of July 2018 after suffering a sub-arachnal brain hemmorraghe that was caused by a brain aneurysm at the age of 52. It was an ordinary day and we had some friends staying with us from Australia and after we had got ready we where about to leave the house to go out for a nice meal together. As we where about to leave my mum went upstairs to get her jacket and she began to complain to my dad of an almost unbearable pain in the centre of her head. My mum had been suffering with minor headaches for a while so my dad didn’t think much of it so he just came to stairs to fetch her some pain-killers. He gave me the tablets to take upstairs to my mum but as I looked around, she wasn’t there, so I came back downstairs to tell my dad. At this point everyone was gathering round the door ready to leave so we all started looking and shouting for her, my dad then glanced into the front room and saw her slumped, sitting on the couch. My dad got to her straight away and realised she wasn’t breathing and was unresponsive so I called an ambulance. On the phone they gave us instructions on how to try and get her breathing again. After about 90 seconds we had layer her onto the floor and managed to open her airway so but her breaths where very delayed. The paramedics then arrived and she began to mumbling some words but they where not very clear and she was suffering with double vision. When she was transported to the ambulance we where first took to our local hospital where they done a scan to try and find out what the problem was and when we got the results that it was a sub-arachnal brain hemmorraghe caused by an aneurysm we where very shocked. The hospital then made the call to transfer my mum to a specialist hospital for neuroscience called the Walton Centre. On arrival to this hospital my mum had a second bleed on the brain alongside in-noticed aspiration of vomit into the lungs which meant she was struggling to breathe so the doctors put her into a medically induced coma. Whilst under the sedation the doctors where allowed to keep my mum stable and keep a close eye on her brain activity. After two days of allowing the brain to rest the doctors decided to take my mum into theatre for an operation called coiling and explained that this procedure would prevent my mum from having any more bleeds in her recovery and moving on into the future, although they also had to warn us that doing this operation could leave the risk of a further stroke happening in the next 14 to 21 days, but the benefits of doing this procedure far out-weighed the risks.So they went ahead with the operation but unfortunately, in the middle of the procedure my mum sufferd a third bleed but because they could see it on screen they could deal with it very quickly. They kept my mum on full sedation after her operation for two days, this was to give her brain time to rest. After that they then began to lower her levels of sedation and she slowly began to become more responsive as time went on, she would be moving her head side to side and opening her eyes fully alongside squeezing my hands and wiggling her feet and toes. As they carried on to lower her sedation she got down to only 25% overnight but after speaking to the doctors they explained to us that she did not react very well to such low levels of sedation as she was vomiting and was very agitated, they said that this was quite common in some patients and may just be because they are not ready yet. In the early hours of the next day the doctors told us that her temperature had been very high and that at some points it was reaching up to 43 degrees and told us that this could be because the thermo-regulation in her brain may not be working due to the blood load in her head. So they had to bring her temperature down for her by using cooling pads all over her body and put her sedation back up quite high to keep her calm and comfertable as they didn’t want her to feel to cold and start shivering. She was kept like this for a day then the early hours of the next day me and my dad got called in at 3am and was told that my mum had suffer another stroke called infraction that was causing major swelling in one side of the brain they realised this when one of my mums pupils became unreactive. So they took her down for a scan a we where told the results by the time we arrived there. They showed that the infraction took place under the aneurysm and the swelling was spreading around the brain. A few minutes later her second pupil became unreactive, proving that the whole brain was now swollen and in a crushing state due to the pressure it was holding against the skull. The consultants the game to us and explained how there is no medical cure or solution in this situation and that my mum would not be waking up. They then went on to say that when death is suspected they are legally required to complete a brain stem test to lawfully confirm death. This test confirmed my mother’s death and she was pronounced dead on the 3rd of July 2018. In the passing days after this my dad told me that he was seeing some memory alterations and forgetfulness in my mums day to day routine, the doctors told us even little things like this can be discrete symptoms. Maybe if my family was more educated on the causes and symptoms of this, things may have been different but in my mums memory I would like to share our story and try my best to help prevent anything like this to happening to anybody else. I love you mum, you will be forever missed.
Nicole Nicole from Indianapolis wrote on July 8, 2018 at 12:32 am:
On June 25, 2017 I experienced the "worst headache of my life" It was accompanied by blurry vision, but the excruciating pain and blurry vision passed in about 30 seconds. I did have a lingering headache, but nothing extraordinary so I didn't think much of it. A couple days passed and I still had the headache and it seemed to be getting worse. The doctor said my neck and back were out of place and sent me to a chiropractor. On July 4, 2017 I was in the bathtub, soaking, trying desperately to get some relief from the headache. I went to get out of the tub and couldn't. Fortunately I had my phone and was able to call my family for help. It was immediately apparent to them that I had had a stroke and they called 911. At the hospital it was discovered that I had apparently suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm 10 days prior and the bleeding and pressure in my brain then led to a stroke. Long story short I was in the neuro ICU until the end of September. I have very little memory of the time. They did not believe I would survive and that if I did I would not be functional. I was told by one neurologist that he had a booklet in his hand with 30 pages stating why I should not be alive. Well, not only did I survive, shocking everyone-I did so with no visible disability. I returned to work as a nurse at the end of September. I am very thankful, but in some ways the no visible disability is a curse. I get tired easier. Initially with the stroke, I lost all use of my left side. I regained the use of it before leaving the hospital, but if I am tired or stressed, my left hand will feel numb, or I might trip. Functioning normally takes about every bit of energy I have, something my loved ones don't understand-because I appear perfectly normal. I struggle with loud noise or crowds, I'm not sure why but they overwhelm me. I assume a side effect of the brain injury. I now tell everyone that I can that aneurysms are hereditary. I did not know that, even being a nurse. My father died of a ruptured aneurysm 5 years ago. Had I known that, perhaps I wouldn't have suffered the stroke, because it likely would have been discovered before the bleeding went on for 10 days. Education is crucial. I was one of the lucky ones, but still struggle daily and know that my life will never be what it once was.
Megan Bacigalupo Megan Bacigalupo from Minneapolis wrote on June 23, 2018 at 10:12 am:
Last September I survived a subarachnoid ruptured brain aneurysm a hemorrhage and stroke!! This is my story
Emily & Ryan Rauch Emily & Ryan Rauch from El Gastor, Spain wrote on June 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm:
We are an American family living in a tiny village in the mountains of Andalucia, Spain. Three months ago, we invited our kids' friends over for a sleepover party at our house. One of the little girls, Luena, 11 years old, woke up after midnight complaining of a bad headache. My husband and I went in to check on her, and she had collapsed. Moments later she began vomiting, and I realized that she had lost consciousness. We didn't realize it at the time it was happening, but we were the first responders to a child who had just suffered a catastrophic sub-arachnid hemmoraghic aneurism. She was hospitalized and in a coma in Malaga for eight days before she died, surrounded by her family. Aside from this tiny defect in her brain, Luena was absolutely a vision of health, and her parents made the decision to donate her organs to other suffering children all over Spain. Her heart went to a little boy in Barcelona who would have died within 24 hours were it not for Luena's donation. Together with her family, we started The Luena Foundation, to carry on her legacy of helping children everywhere who are in great need. While her family and her pueblo continue to feel the loss of our little friend, Luena, we are comforted by the fact that she will lives on through the good works of her foundation.
Melissa Melissa from Woodstock,Ga wrote on May 29, 2018 at 10:17 pm:
I just lost my beautiful momma just 9 days ago. May 20, 2018 I am still I shock and disbelief but would love to be part of spreading awareness. She did not exhibit any symptoms except when it was too late. She was only 63 and I miss her horribly.
Rose Rose from Decatur, IL wrote on May 21, 2018 at 6:57 pm:
I just recently found out that I have a brain aneurysm. My sister died of one in 2002, but my doctor here never suggested that I be scanned for one! I changed doctors and that was the first thing she asked: "Have you been scanned for a brain aneurysm?" When I told her I had not, she set it up and within 4 hours after my scan she was on the phone with me advising me that I did have a brain aneurysm! I have had 2 brain scans here in Decatur, IL and a brain angiogram at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO. The results showed that if they were to operate, there were not be a good outcome at this time. So we are just "waiting and watching." My restrictions: get my blood pressure and diabetes under control and NO STRESS! Yeah, right!!!! I am scheduled for a stroke risk evaluation next month and Holter monitoring. I am to return to Barnes Hospital for more scanning in January of 2019 I have faith in God and know that He is my healer. I have given the situation to is out of my hands!
Saundra Sanchez Saundra Sanchez from Lubbock wrote on May 7, 2018 at 11:17 pm:
My dad died of a brain aneurysm 21 years ago. He was 49 years old. It's sad to say that I have outlived my father. I also have an uncle who had a brain aneurysm but it was caught early and he survived. They were brothers. My dad got up to go to work one morning and he never even made it into the shower. He passed out on the bathroom floor and was found two hours later.
Debra Crocker Debra Crocker from Sikeston wrote on March 20, 2018 at 10:44 pm:
My father died at age 54 and my sister died at age 63 from aneurysms. Another sister was scanned and had 2 aneurysms getting ready to burst. She had surgery & had a tough time. She has memory loss and some other challenges. I am definitely interested in research and education.
edgar dean blair edgar dean blair from blavkfoot wrote on March 19, 2018 at 2:21 pm:
let me tell you about my experience; i was having extreme dizzy spells several weeks before my major one my doctor did not know what was causing it kept thinking my ears were plugged up with too much earwax so started to treat that not telling me my blood pressure was getting to high which now new doctor says was probably caused my stroke. i have no memory of it at all wife says i complained of terrible headache and i could not stop from throwing up. spent 4 weeks in hospital and another 3 weeks in a nursing home no memory of my time in the hospital and bits and pieces in nursing home
Kelsee Hoy Kelsee Hoy from Staunton wrote on March 4, 2018 at 11:38 am:
It was a scary encounter to see my mom like this, one morning my mom had screamed for me to go into the room, so I rushed it, she was in so much pain, it was hard, she was shaking, throwing up, saying her head was hurting so much, so I told her I was calling 911 she looked at me shaking, and said “I think I’m having an aneurysm.” In that moment I knew it was something serious, she kept saying she was going to pass out, I told her no mom stay with me til the paramedics get here. The paramedics finally arrived and rushed her to AMC, she doesn’t really remember much, but said they were going to do CT scans, and that morning we knew her brain had blood on it, there was nothing AMC could do so they sent her to one of the best hospitals UVA, that evening UVA said she had a hole in a 9MM aneurysm. They drilled a hole to relieve pressure from her brain. Three weeks was a tough fight for her, through having pneumonia, a collapsed lung, and this aneurysm we didn’t think she would make it. Then something amazing happened, she was waking up, and she was responding fenominal to every single thing they asked her! They said her aneurysm was in the biggest artery in her brain, and that many people don’t make it or that they have a major disability, the only thing she lost was a little bit of memory. I’m so grateful god is so good!
Beverly Beverly from West Babylon wrote on February 28, 2018 at 11:52 am:
My name is Beverly and at my brain aneurysm support group at Good Samaritan we were given some papers on Lisa?and her husband Todd who is fighting for all of us who have brain aneurysms I have one that was worked on by doc Bekelis and his team at Good Samaritan I have a coil and a stent and I’m a survivor thank god I also have another one that we will keep an eye I’m grateful and blessed to still be here ? im looking forward to meeting u next month Todd at our support group please keep up the good work I think that brain aneurysms and there survivors have truly gone unnoticed I never realized till I have become one myself see u soon enjoy life always ?
Andrea Andrea from Morgantown wrote on January 8, 2018 at 4:39 pm:
When I was 13 years old I had a brain aneurysm. I stayed in a hospital for 2 1/2 weeks without the drs knowing what it was. Finally one night I had a bad round of seizures & one of the nurses told my parents to get me somewhere else cause something was seriously wrong. I was sent to Kosair Children Hospital in Louisville. They saw it was an aneurysm on other hospital xrays. By then i was so dehydrated they had to wait another 2 weeks before they could even operate. Finally they operated & fixed it. I recovered with no brain damage or side effects. I am now 38 years old.
Lori Balzer Lori Balzer from Bismarck, ND wrote on December 10, 2017 at 10:23 pm:
On October 17, 2017 my Mom Judie Keller age 73 was getting into her car to go to a doctor appointment. I found her in the drivers seat of her car, trying to buckle her seatbelt. She looked confused, I asked her what was wrong. She only could look at me, she was unable to speak, but could follow my direction. I thought she was having a stroke. She had a history of high blood pressure and always had what she called sinus headaches. I called 911 she was transported to our local hospital and was taken by the stroke team to CT. There they discovered a large cerebral aneurism that had ruptured, she also had brain shifting. At this point she was no longer responding to us. They could not do anything locally so we airlifted her to a larger hospital in Minneapolis, MN. They were unable to do anything for her as the anurism was very large and there was extensive bleeding. My mom passed away on October 18, 2017. Not sure if my brother and I should be check for an anurism or not? Should our kids be checked?
Dewana Davis Dewana Davis from LOUISVILLE wrote on December 5, 2017 at 9:54 am:
Hi my name is Dewana Davis ,I was diagnosed with a brain Aneurysm in 2015,that's when I was having stroke like systemsome along with my high blood pressure.I went into the emergency room with high blood pressure complications and the doctor ordered an MRI of my brain and that's how the Aneurysm was detect.I'm still living to tell my story bye the Grace of God but if I never had the brain MRI I wouldn't have know .Is there anyway that I can try to petition for there to be a law for a mandatory brain scan year just like breast cancer and then maybe we will cut down on losing loved ones or bringing awareness to people like me that don't know.I'm so sorry for your loss and anybody else .God bless

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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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