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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.
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.
Marina Mills Marina Mills from Redondo Beach California wrote on October 9, 2018 at 3:01 am
I had bilateral aneurysm this year and is has I have surgery. coil both of them on July 12 2018. I lost my 72 years old mom on June 2002” as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm My sister never wake up from aneurysm In 2010 Thank you for your faoundation to help awerness.
Bethann M Ryan Bethann M Ryan from Valdosta wrote on October 4, 2018 at 10:28 pm
Ok third time's the charm. So I had my aneurysm in 2005. It all started normally I had been suffering migraine headaches after at mva in 1988. I had recently married and was at the clinic on base (my husband is military) for a normal check up. The PA suggested I have an MRI which I did only to find out the next day that I had a 4cm aneurysm at the junction of my left optimistic artery and corerad artery, my surgery was not long after, but I had been given the best neurosurgeon in the southeast, at MCG in Augusta Ga. I'm still alive not only to the Lord but to all those He put in my path to heal me. I want to thank you for bringing this condition to the world, because a lot of people don't understand.
Louquanis Louquanis from Newburgh wrote on October 4, 2018 at 7:34 pm
Hi is was April 2004 and I could not go threw another day with this I went to the e r as my doctor directed me and bam was admitted to the hospital had two brain aneurysm went to have surgery and thank God iam still here it's now 2018.
Krista Krista from Cambridge,On, Canada wrote on October 2, 2018 at 11:06 am
In October of 2015 my mom suffered her 1st brain aneurysm....she survived...they coiled (13 coils) and she went on to live an adjusted lifestyle but overall extremely lucky and grateful she came out for the most part in tact and functioning amazingly well. Fast foward to summer of 2017 and she had a 2nd aneurysm just off the opening of the original site...again she survived...I know CRAAAZY!!!....this time they actually opened her up and performed the clipping procedure... remarkably she is still with us and functioning at pretty much 100%. She had minimal to zero warning signs either time but looking back we could have possibly recognized SOMETHING had we known more about aneurysms....there was some personal stress in her life prior to the 1st one....she did mention the tingling tongue sensation but always kind of dismissed it...and had always suffered from headaches but once the aneurysms bled those headaches she described as unbearable...had she not gone to hospital right away either time she would not be with us today....1st time she bent over to pick up her purse and the 2nd time she rolled over in bed....simple movements of every day life. She was a smoker for many many years and the doctors advised that should she start smoking again after the 1st aneurysm she would surely suffer with another and surviving 2 is almost impossible. She stopped of the greatest gifts of her having gone through these ordeals. The trauma has had life long effects of course, she has some memory deficiencies, is afraid every day of it happening again and has suffered other minor changes however overall we have been so incredibly fortunate to have more time with her and to take each day as a true blessing. My heart aches for those who have not been on the winning side of these disastrous little beasts....I send you love, light and strength as you grieve your loved one.
Lisa Lisa from Knoxville wrote on September 30, 2018 at 5:59 pm
I lost my 79 year old mom on July 12th, 2018 as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm that she suffered on Mother’s Day morning. She had been having severe headaches for about 3 weeks. She went to her doctor and had an mri. She told me the doctor didn’t see anything that alarmed her and that it was probably migraines. 3 weeks later, we took her to the ER because she was having a lot of pain. They ran some test. The doctor was unsure what was causing the pain. He said it was possibly vasculitis and sent her home with a round of prednisone and told her to follow up with her doctor on Monday (this was Saturday). She went home and took the Prednisone. She was still in pain, but was making pies for Mother’s Day. She went to bed around 11:30. My dad found her in the bathroom floor around 7:30 the next morning. An ambulance was called and she was rushed back to the ER which she had been at the day before. This time they said she had suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm. They immediately sent her to another hospital for immediate surgery to coil the aneurysm. She made it through the surgery. She had to have a drain placed to drain the fluid from her brain. She spent 3 weeks in the hospital, but my sweet mom was never the same. She pretty much lost her ability to communicate with us. I think she recognized us, and could echo some words back to us. After 3 weeks, she was sent to 2 different nursing homes. She had a feeding tube and catheter. My mom kept getting one infection after another. 2 months later, it became too difficult for her. She couldn’t fight any longer. She was taken back to the hospital and it was determined to place her in comfort care. She was never going to get better and her quality of life had deteriorated so much. My sweet mom passed away on July 12th, 2018. Our lives have never been the same. She was married to my dad for 56 years. He is really struggling. I’m not sure if something could have been done to prevent the aneurysm from rupturing or not. My world was forever changed!
Jenni McClellamd Jenni McClellamd from Waldwick wrote on September 28, 2018 at 8:21 am
My Mom suddenly passed away on 11/11/2014 at the young age of 52 due to a brain aneurysm. She had migraines on and off for most of her life. About a year before her passing, her doctor recommended she get a CT scan, which she got done, but nothing showed up, so he just prescribed her medication for the headaches. A few months before she passed, the headaches got increasingly worse, but my Mom hardly ever complained because she never complained about anything. She thought it was hormonal because she was approaching menopause. Needless to say, that wasn’t the case. Losing my Mom was the biggest heartbreak to our family. She was the light of our lives and we miss her every single day. One miracle in all of this was that we donated several of my Mom’s organs and we found out a year later that she saved a 20-year old girl with Cystic Fibrosis who was on life support. She received both of my Mom’s lungs and liver. We have had the honor of meeting the donor recipient and keep in contact, she is the most gracious and amazing person we’ve ever met. I didn’t know about the Lisa Colagrossi Foundation until I saw a commercial this morning and just felt I had to share my story. Raising awareness to detect early signs of brain aneurysm is so needed and could help save so many lives. Don’t ignore the symptoms!
Rachel Koechel Rachel Koechel from Massapequa wrote on September 27, 2018 at 6:59 pm
I had been getting headaches for two weeks every time I worked out. And one morning I was at the gym sat up and I had the worst pain. I was leaving the gym when the owner stopped me because I didn't look right. He called my friend to get me and despite my hesitation took me to the hospital. After the scan I had a sever bleed in my brain they we're unable to diagnose due to the amount of blood and swelling but all they knew was that it clotted off. After a stay at the hospital I was sent home with a follow up angiogram in November. Then it was 100 percent an aneurysm that was growing back at the base of my brain and would rupture again. They had to place two stents in my head. I just reached a year since this happened when I was 33. I am extremely grateful to be one of the lucky ones, able to tell my story. After this happened we found out they run on my mother's side and all three women died from it. I am very blessed!
Kathryn strout Kathryn strout from Ledyard, CT wrote on September 25, 2018 at 8:31 pm
My mother passed away from a Brain aneurysm in 1984 at the age of 61. It Came out of nowhere, but later on we found out that she was having headaches and she said that she felt that she had a band around her head. Fast forward to 2018, my son who is 20 years old is being worked up for a connective tissue disease, because he is double jointed, and my mother was double jointed, and now apparently research is saying The connective tissue diseases run in families, that they are not random. So my son was worked up genetically for connective tissue disease at Yale Haven Hospital in New Haven Connecticut, and it did turn out that both my son and I have a gene variant on MYH 11 that causes aneurysms in the brain and in the aorta. So now we have to be followed with echocardiograms and MRIs and the rest of our lives. We had lost track of my mother’s family, and I recently have connected with two cousins, and both of them head relatives that died I’m aneurysms. The people that died woman with her first cousins. So now what I thought was random has now become pretty scary.
Regina B Connallon Regina B Connallon from Hazlet wrote on September 24, 2018 at 7:36 am
My son, Christopher died of a brain aneurysm on May 4, 2016 at the age of 36. He leaves behind 5 beautiful children along with many family members and friends. He was also an organ donor and saved 5 lives. My son had no warning at all until the day he died when he told his cousin that he felt very hot and that his head started hurting him so bad so he took a shower and that’s when it burst and he fell to the fall while in the shower. By the time he was medevaced to the hospital, it was to late. He not only had one, but there was two aneurysms. I still can’t believe my son is gone and I will mourn him until the day I take my last breath.
Sandy Lowe Sandy Lowe from Nashville wrote on September 23, 2018 at 7:12 pm
My 21 year old daughter, Margaret Helen Lowe, died of a RCA Aneurysm September 1, 2015 while running at the University of Virginia. We have a race called Miles for Margaret that raises money for her personal philanthropies on the UVA Campus. I did not know about the Lisa Foundation until Fox and Friends. Her survivors have been devastated by her death. Margaret donated 9 organs all her vital organs as well as bone, skin, and corneas. She complained of headaches and a CAT scan showed no abnormalities. She took Maxalt as her headaches were diagnosed as migraines. My sons are refusing the MRA test at this point. My husband and I are both physicians and we did not ignore her symptoms. We are happy to help in any way to prevent the heartache we have experienced.
Ashley Decker Ashley Decker from Atlanta wrote on September 23, 2018 at 10:13 am
I suffered a ruptured aneurysm 3/28/17. I am a Nurse and survivor. Enclosed is my you tube story . https://youtube/nJS8FV1l234
Linda Harris Linda Harris from Rollingstone wrote on September 22, 2018 at 5:59 pm
In 1976, when I was 16 years old, my mother (age 42) suffered a fatal brain aneurysm. It was a traumatic time for our family. I am the youngest of 3 children. My Mother was divorced,with my brother and I still living at home. At the time, my brother had just graduated from high school and embarked on an adventure exploring the US with a friend. Having him away was difficult, but what we were to go through as a family was even tougher. The last we had heard from my brother was that he was in Colorado; Estes Park to be specific. And then the floods came. Every night, my mother would watch the coverage of the devastation in Estes, still having not heard from my brother. Was he still there? Was he safe? Why doesn't he call? We were worried, and had so many questions. That's when it happened. With a rummage sale planned for the upcoming weekend, Mom had family friends over to help with preparations. At one point, she had mentioned that she had such a terrible headache. She sat down to take a small break. At that moment, she passed out. She was rushed to our local hospital and eventually transferred to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. At 16, I was frightened and left feeling helpless. For the next 7 days, she remained in a coma. We would visit, talk with her and hold her hand. Day after day, no response. Meanwhile, still no word from my brother. Stressed, and not knowing what was happening with our brother, we still had to deal with the deteriorating situation with my Mom. My father was in the Merchant Marines, so, we all felt pretty helpless. Three teenagers, basically alone, were left to deal with her medical decisions. The doctors had put upon us one of the most difficult decisions we ever had to make. They could do surgery, removing a portion of her brain, most definately rendering her in a vegitative state. We knew that's not what our mother wanted. That wasn't life, and we were 100% certain that she wouldn't want to live like that. As painfull as it was, we made the decision not to do the surgery. We sat. We waited. Uncertainty is so many ways. On the 9th day, we receive a call from the Red Cross. They had found our brother! Alive and well! Thank God!! They had relayed to him what was happening back home and advised that he return ASAP. He and his friend had left Colorado and headed to the hospital. We still visited Mom in shifts, talked to her, joked with her, sang with her everyday. Waiting...for any type of response. Nothing. The prognosis was not good. We knew it, we felt it. It was Fall; early September. At 16, I should have been back to school. Instead, our days were filled with worry, spending all day at the hospital, taking turns with other relatives to visit with Mom when we could. On this particular, bright and sunny day, we were once again sitting in the hospital waiting room to take our turn, when I look up and see my brother! Walking quickly towards us, but looking tired, stressed and thin. After all, he had just been through quite the ordeal too. But on top of all that, he learns about his Mother, barely clinging to life and trying his best to make it home. But, he's safe, and he's home! After briefly filling him in on what has happened and bringing him up to date on her status, of course, he is anxious to see his mother. We all went into the room. To this point, we have tried everything to get some kind of response from our Mother; but nothing. My brother, also feeling defeated and so worried, finally gets to Mom's bedside. He gently puts her hand in his. As tears rolled down his face, he caresses her hand and tells her " Mom, it's me, Randy. I'm here, I'm home. It's gonna be OK". At that moment, he felt a very faint movement! Our Mother, who we've had no response from at all the last 8 days, very lightly squeezed his hand! We couldn't believe it! Could that mean that she is coming back to us?! Our hopes didn't last long...shortly after, our Mother was called home. Her struggle was over. It took such a long time for our lives to get back to somewhat normal. None of us expected to lose her at such a young age. And we were just kids ourselves. Nevertheless, our Mother raised 3 strong kids. We struggled, but we all survived and all moved on tohave healthy happy lives. Fast forward to 2004. Allof us 3 kids are grown and married. Since we lost our Mother and became adults, we have all been faithful about annual check ups. My brother and I both inherited my Mom's high blood pressure, so my doctor was mindful of that, as well as the family medical history with my mother. I had started getting alot headaches, and some leg pain. I mentioned that to my doctor at my next visit. Because of the family, medical history, my doctor suggested having an MRA. Approximately a week later,I received the call from my doctor telling me that I had a brain aneurysm! The next week, I went in for consultation with my doctor, who had arranged for immediate admission to a hospital in Mankato, MN. for major surgery, shaving of the head, along with 8-12 weeks of recovery. I was scared. Was I headed for the same fate as my mother? That night, I went home to make arrangements for surgery in Mankato,calling friends and family to inform them. My sister-in-law, who works at Mayo clinic in Rochester, suggested a 2nd opinion. She intended to go to work the following day and talk to a few experts and doctors there. Within 24 hrs., I recieved a call from Dr. Brown, head of neurology at Mayo clinic. He explained to me that they were currently doing a study on the correlation of brain aneurysms among siblings, and wanted to take on my case. Within 1 day, I was at Mayo, talking with a team of doctors, going through tests and listening to their plan of attack for my aneurysm. To make a long story short, Mayo clinic did a coiling procedure on my aneurysm and everything went smoothly. And....I missed 2 days of work! I can't tell you how thankful I am for Dr. Brown, his team, Mayo and all the friends and family that were involved in my diagnosis and helped with treatment plan. I feel so very blessed and fortunate for them, and also for the advancements in medical technology (and even the difference in procedures between hospitals!). My Mother was only 42 when she passed of a brain aneurysm. Another fact that I left out of this long story is that my father also died of a brain aneurysm at age 61! I feel like I've been given a second chance at life. Over the years, I have told this story several times to people that seem to have symptoms, or even just in normal conversations. Since that time, both my siblings have also had testing done to detect aneurysms and have, thankfully been free.

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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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