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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.
Carole Acosador Carole Acosador wrote on May 18, 2017 at 12:50 pm:
April 5th 2005, my brain aneurysm ruptured while I was in a church helping out at a funeral. I was 47 years old and had no idea I had this time bomb in my brain until "I got the worst headache of my life." A sudden, relentless headache like no other that I equate to being hit by a ballbat. I instinctively put my hand to the back of my head. When there was no visible blood, I knew something major was wrong internally. The popping sound and sensation of blood dripping was the aneurysm burst I had felt moments prior. Before passing out, I made my way down the stairs and to the outside church steps. Someone noticed my abrupt departure and sent the pastor and a church elder to look for me. Long story short, I wound up at NSLIJ now Northwell Health in Manhassett, Long Island NY. I would be there for twenty days with great neuro surgeons, nurses and support staff. My brain aneurysm was Fusiform, a ba with no neck. Stents were not in use yet, so my entire artery was coiled shut. Somehow, the blood flow found another way to get where it had to go. I'm now a twelve year surviver in the lucky 20% that survive unscathed. One month after the rupture, I was back to bicycling. Week six after the ba, I was back to local driving. Mine is an unusual and very lucky case of survival and recovery and I'm grateful for that. I did have symptoms prior but ignored them. Why, because I was busy taking care of my elderly parents. My father was terminally ill and died eight months after my ba incident. My mother also had issues and is now in assisted living. My symptoms included: stiff neck, a drooping right eyelid and visual disturbances. Apparently, I was having preliminary mini bleeds that clogged the brain's natural drainage of cerebral/spinal cord fluid. As a result, this fluid started draining through my kidneys. I was constantly looking for restrooms. This is not a symptom I see mentioned. The condition I had was called Hydrocephalus aka "water on the brain" in addition to the the ba rupture that was brewing. In addition to the coiling, I also had a permanent brain shunt put in for drainage. If you're reading this and are experiencing any of these symptoms, run, don't walk to your doctor immediately! Remember to take care of yourself when experiencing strange health symptoms. My putting myself last, almost cost me my life; almost cost my daughter who was thirteen at the time, her mother and almost cost my husband, his wife. I never went on disability, but I did retire three years ago at 56 after working as a children's traffic safety instructor. I'm being treated for high blood pressure. As a result, I avoid stressful situations and people as much as possible. Something that's perfectly OK, when possible, in order to keep calm and stay alive.
Taylor Taylor wrote on May 17, 2017 at 9:01 pm:
My mother passed away from a brain aneurysm at age 36. My mother had a horrible, horrible headache and took Advil and tried to sleep it off. She woke up in the middle of the night and was unable to breathe. She then passed away the next day in the hospital. This foundation is doing something really important, by making sure people know the signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm. I wish my mother and I would've known the signs, she could be here today.
Jeanne Jeanne from Whitestone wrote on May 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm:
Thanks to me constantly complaining to my neuros for over a year and trying last hope botox they referred me for an MRA and thanks to Dr Wisoff VP shunt surgery refwrred me to Dr. Riina who saved my life clipped2 out of 4 since others were too small. Dont ignore anything that isnt right
Hilary Hilary from NY wrote on May 13, 2017 at 10:44 am:
In 2010, I displayed numbness and tingling in my hands and feet. Due to my complicated medical history, my internist and hepatologist referred me to a neurologist. I had light sensitivity, occasional headaches, heat on the right side of my face, etc. The neurologist as a precaution sent me for an MRI. On my birthday I received what turned out to be the best present in hindsight. I had 2 aneurysms. One was nearly 10mm, the other 3mm. Both located on the same side. I was immediately scheduled with the neurosurgeons. In the interim, I had an MRA and a CT & an angiogram followed. I was not a candidate for coiling. Within a month I had a crainiotomy to remove both aneurysms. Surgery was predicted to be 4 to 5 hours. The large one was very complicated. I was in surgery for 7 hours. I was lucky there were no complications. In 48 from start to finish I was home. It was frightening to be released knowing your head was just opened 2 days ago. I was one of the lucky ones in the recovery area. So many others were there for much longer than I. When I a arrived home I was happy to have survived but frightened & sad at the same time. As time went on I felt lucky. In 2013, I had an angiogram to assess the stability of the clips and if any new aneurysms developed. Due to the complicated nature of my aneurysms I am at risk for more in the future. I am due for my next angiogram in 2018. I worry whether our son will inherit my vast array of medical issues. My hope is he will never. My family, friends & doctors were crucial to my recovery as they encouraged me to make progress at every turn. I feel extremely lucky everyday. I am thankful to all who have cared for me. Moral of this story is never take your symptoms lightly and always be your best advocate for your health! Laugh everyday. Live life to the fullest as you never know what tomorrow will bring!
George Prouty George Prouty from Pine Island wrote on May 13, 2017 at 10:41 am:
1 month before my anurisim burst I started haveing dizzy spells while driving and had to pull over a few times I went to my doctor and was diagnosed withHigh Blood pressure, then I had a W H O M L the against my dr's advise I went on vacation upon returning I was at work and had another Headach and collasped, the next thing I knew I was being picked up by a ambulance and taken (regretfully ) to a genral hospital where I was not diagnosed correctly and had another episode that night then a neuro surgeon saw me and sent me to a more advanced hospital where I had a M R I and following that a operation to clamp off the bleeder all this caused me to have a stroke and after much PT here I am 20 years later paralized on my left side but thankfully able to read and think
Doris Aase Doris Aase from Milwaukee WI wrote on May 12, 2017 at 12:17 am:
I suddenly went unconscious. Early evening of Dec. 18, 1993, My fiance found me on the floor unresponsive. I had no pulse or heartbeat. He called 911 and he administered CPR. Paramedics used a defibulator and got my heart started. Rushed me to the neatest hospital. I was in surgery for 8 hours. I was in the hospital for 3 months. I had extensive therapy for just about everything. Recovery was a rough trip. Loss of friends, finances, my husband (the fiance married me post Aneurysm). Now 23 years later I am living on my own. The aneurysm happened when I lived in California. I did have those "worst headaches of my life" a couple months before the rupture, but doctors said it was stress. If only this information had been available in 1993, the aneurysm may have been found and treated before it ruptured and I nearly lost my life. The Lisa Colagrossi Foundation is an answer from God. Thank you for letting me share.
Merci Rosero Merci Rosero from Bogota wrote on May 11, 2017 at 9:43 pm:
Hola... desde el 28 de marzo y diagnosticada con aneurisma, ayer me realizaron una panangiografia cerebral y observaron que mi aneurisma está al interior del nacimiento de dos arterias. Me informaron que mi caso es complicado y todo indica que en Colombia no hay estudios ni los medios para salvarme. Tengo antecedentes familiares de ruptura de aneurisma mi abuela y un primo hermano por línea paterna fallecieron de aneurisma. Tengo dos hijas y me siento muy mal. Necesito ayuda y por eso acudo a ustedes
Donna Tess Weier Donna Tess Weier from Two Riverz wrote on May 7, 2017 at 4:18 pm:
Jan.21st. 2005...I'm teaching getting ready for giving an exam.... I tell my co workers "I feel off today!" Bad snow storm...getting home I call my young kids home to help shovel...I'm shoveling when it starts to true ; the pain is so severe ; I'm in a daze. I call inside to call 911. My nephew died 8 months prior with a brain aneurysm. He was 27 ; I'm 37 and I tell the dispatcher "I'm having an aneurysm!" They thought I was on drugs; not the case ! I had surgery after they kept me in a medical did not work. My family was told to take me home to die. It was too severe. My family refused! So UW MADISON in Wisconsin flew home Dr. DEMPSY aka "God" (one nurse told me that was his nickname from neiro staff) he performed an exploratory and newer bypass surgery at the worked. I had a stroke due to also being full of Clots in both lungs and left leg. I was in that coma for just under 2 months....I believe it saved me...I was in ICU And stayed for 10 days of extended rehab. I was Back teaching Special Education students that summer school session. I was determined to survive. My children were in middle and high school. They both deal with medical issues...We know due to hereditary history...My father had an aneurysm....My aunt (dads sister) and my dad's brother had major life threatening issues with the brain. Unfortunately my nephew had no warning signs that he shared; he lived in California at the time. But his father; my brother had a clote enter his heart. He died a year later of a massive heart attach. I tell your gut ! Listen to your body; listen to God. Today I have several stints in my blood vessels working to repair an aneurysm and this past November an Angogram found anther small aneurysm. I deal with constant pain, stiff neck, headaches, nausea, light sensitivity, pain behind the eyes, nerve damage from stroke, I've had a seizure and must live a life with uncertainty. BUT, my life is AWESOME. I work at a non profit for adults with disabilities( I'm even the Coordinator) I love to paint and I do my best to live a good life ~for me and my husband and two grown and married children. I'm even a Grandma~ life is what we make it~ I choose to make mine count ! God Bless you all and please continue to share and educate others. Our Brains are amazing so treat them AMAZINGLY Great !!!!
Renee jardy Renee jardy from Northwood wrote on May 5, 2017 at 5:27 pm:
My mother died from a brain aneurysm in 1967 when I was only 11 years ago. My two sisters and I had mri's throughout our adult lives whenever we would visit our drs and complain of having headaches. 5 years ago my 58 year old sister who lived alone did not show up for work. When the EMT's got to her aneurysm had already burst. She died 5 days later- boy do I miss her. As a result we were all advised my siblings --2 brothers, myself and another sister---to be tested for aneurysms. I did and was found to have2 serious aneurysms. I had them clipped in a 5 hour surgery at the Cleveland clinic. This June it will be 5 years since my surgery. I had absolutely no symptoms! Get checked! My surgeon told me many aneurysms are found in autopsies!
Van N. Kim Van N. Kim from Phoenix, Arizona wrote on April 20, 2017 at 12:09 am:
Brain Aneurysm has hit close to home for me as each and every one of my maternal uncles have passed away from it. I had 3 maternal uncles and they were all in their early to mid 60's when they passed. I always worry that I'll end up getting it myself every time I get a pretty bad headache with the maternal family history going against me. Me aside, my continued thoughts and prayers are with Lisa's immediate and extended family.
Alicia McGinnis Alicia McGinnis from Cuba ny wrote on March 21, 2017 at 9:53 pm:
About 6 years ago my mother was put in the hospital with a blood clot. While in the hospital she developed blurred and double vision. Her doctor sent her for an MRI and a MRA. The MRI came back normal and the MRA showed that she had an aneurysm. She was sent by ambulance to gates vascular hospital in buffalo where the dr. (Dr. Levie) treated her. She had a stent and coil put in. She is now clear because it's been 5 year since the aneurysm showed up on a MRA. Please it's a scary thing to see a family member go through this. I'm just glad that my mom Knew the signs and asked to get something done.
Lindsay Lindsay from Chicago wrote on February 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm:
2/28/13, my 32 yr old sister, a mom of 5 young kids 7-4months was in an exercise class and suffered a cerebral brain aneurysm. She was airlifted to UW hospital in Madison for emergency brain surgery but unfortunately she never came back. We let her go on 3/3/13 and donated her organs. She was a young, healthy, athletic, Amazing young woman. My maternal grandmother and maternal aunt also passed away young from. Brain aneurysms. For myself, my two daughters and my sister's two daughters it is extremely frightening. I will have brain MRI's every 5 yrs as will they once they turn 18. I wish someone would look into family history of aneurysms. Is it genetic, early signs etc. Just a CONSTANT fear for me.
Carla Carla from Boston wrote on February 10, 2017 at 10:48 pm:
I'm sharing my story because my experience still scares me. My Aneurysm bled as I was driving home from work. Headache, stiff neck, vomiting. I didn't know those were "the signs". Neither did the first ER I went to the next day. I had the headache and stiff neck and vomiting for 15hrs when I took myself to the ER. Despite having these clear symptoms, it took them 4hrs to even decide to scan me. When they did, they couldn't get a vein and said they'll just do it without contrast. No big deal, right? Big deal. The doctor couldn't even look at me when he told me they found bleeding in the right hemisphere of my brain and "we're not equipped to handle this here". He said to "sit tight" because the ambulance was coming to take me into Boston. Then he left me alone in the room to wait. I was in ICU for 10 days, I have a pipeline in now. My last angiogram was good. I was lucky. What I took from this experience is the alarming reality of walking into an ER where not even a doctor put my symptoms together as a brain bleed. I've made it my (probably annoying) mission to educate. Sudden headache that doesn't respond to medication. Sudden stiff neck. Nausea/vomiting. These are the signs. And your ER might not recognize them, so, please know them for yourself and everyone you care about in your life.
diane diane from parsons wrote on December 27, 2016 at 10:38 pm:
I Dont have a story but my man does. He was outside working on a truck when his brain anurism burst. Actually 2. He had a stiff neck and then just passed out. No other warning signs. He woke back up and dident want to go to hospital but thank god he did. After 3 weeks in ICU and a week in psyical therapy he got to come home. Its still a struggle every day. He only got to come home at the end of July 2016 but I am very thankful he is still here with us. I try so hard to help him get back as good as he can. I read everything about this topic I can to try to help him the best iI can.
Tanja walke Tanja walke from Tampa wrote on December 24, 2016 at 12:45 am:
Hi. My name is Tanja I'm the mother of two grown children and I have three grandsons. About 8 yrs ago I kept having really bad headaches. Finally my dr sent me to get an MRI. They found two aneurysms. The headaches got worse so I went to the er, they admitted me did a angiogram. They found four more. They were right behind my eyes. They were able to coil one. The others were two small. About two yrs ago they found another one. I have not had any rupture . But my life did change. I have to watch what I eat, drink , do. I was so glad to have seen you on the dr. Oz show. I have been very fortunate to have great Drs. They make sure ever thing is great . Thank you for your time.
Elizabeth Capetillo Elizabeth Capetillo from San Antonio wrote on December 18, 2016 at 8:48 pm:
My beautiful son passed away on July 12, 2015. I still can not express and put into words what this amazing young man, MY SON, meant to me, his little sister and our entire family. He was only 26, he loved running and going to the gym. He was the picture of health a USMC veteran that had done two tours in the Middle East one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He was living, working and studying in California. We had just seen him in May for his cousins high school graduation. He never complained of any symptoms and that I'm aware of didn't have any symptoms leading up to that day. The night before I received the call from an ER nurse he did text me complaining that he wasn't feeling well. He complained that he was nauseated. My instinct was to call him after receiving the text but didn't (a decision i continue to struggle with to this day) want to annoy him by asking a bunch of questions especially while he wasn't feeling well so I asked him to rest and try to eat something if he was able. He said he would and i told him I would check on him the next day. The next day his little sister had an eye appointment so my plan was to call him after her appointment but I received a call from his phone. I was relieved that he beat me to calling him because I thought 'great he's feeling better'. However, the call was from an ER nurse she said my son had been at the Gym and called 911 complaining of severe nausea and severe neck pain. he had suffered a stroke i was told. i was in shock and sometimes think I'm still in shock. I also later learned that he had texted a couple friends from hospital telling them he was at hospital for what he thought was dehydration and he would be needing a ride to pick his car up from the gym. He lost consciousness right before a CT scan and was placed on life support. My beautiful son. My EVERYTHING is gone and i am still struggling to understand. Thank you to Mr. Crawford for having the strength to start this foundation and so so sorry for your loss and to your children for their loss of their mommy. i hope to find my strength and most of all to find a meaningful way to honor my beautiful boy because he deserved so much more time.
Theresa Eddy Theresa Eddy from Walnut Cove, NC wrote on December 16, 2016 at 10:33 am:
In 2004 at age 49 I collapsed just after returning home from shopping . I never had a headache in my life. But I did have symptoms, that I only realized later. For many weeks before, I experienced episodes of elevated BP with a sensation of air bubbles running through my head. It felt strange but not painful so I ignored it. Then I woke-up in the hospital not remembering anyone? A headache doesn't always occur, don't ignore any feeling in your head!
Marissa Marissa from Northumberland UK wrote on December 16, 2016 at 8:24 am:
Hi my name is Marissa. I am suvivor of ruptured aneurysm (SAH). In the evening of 28th sept 2016. I was on my spin bike at home, thought five more minutes then I'd go for bath. Then got this headache like no other, was like having a pick axe hit into your head. As I got off I thought god what is that. I felt like a was intoxicated, using the walls to support myself going along the passage, i finally collapsed outside the bathroom where my 12 yr old daughter was. I was lying unconscious then I heard her scream and come too, I found every ounce of strength I had crawled to my front door, opened it knocked on my neighbours door, when he opened it I begged him to help me. By this time my speech was slurred, I was vomiting, confused. Paramedics arrived done there checks diagnosed me with sickness and diarrhoea with migraine. Got me to sign some form to say that I understood by they wouldn't take me to hospital, bearing in mind I was confused !!! I lay in my bed for 4 1/2 days. My dad phoned my GP they came out diagnosed me with muscular strain or slipped disc. My sister came and said that she was gonna drive me too hospital herself as she had enough of me being throbbed off. When the next lot of paramedics came they couldn't believe I was in hospital, my bp was still really hard. They took me to the A&E were a doctor finally done a ct scan and I was diagnosed with bleed in my brain. I was transferred to another for surgery. The followed day they preformed angiogram locates the rupture and coiled it. Was in hospital for three weeks then discharged home. I am so grateful to the people who saved me. I'm so glad that I'm still here. On the 9th Nov my dad received a call from my uncle. My Cousin Colleen had been rushed into hospital with ruptured aneurism she then had a cardiac arrest and haemorrhaged they done scans but she had no brain activity. Her children of 9 & 12 made the decision to donor her organs. The worse day of my life. I Live with guilt everyday. She was only 31 Years old. It is a silent and deadly killer the more awareness made, maybe more lives saved. We did find out that it is heredity as my great grandad and granddad both died of haemorrhaging. Two of my aunts both had ruptured aneurysms and are still with us. That is 6 of us in total of what we know. Now I'm please to say that the entire family have to be checked. God bless those who lost there battle, and thank god for all of us who are still here to tell our stories. I too am wanting to help raise awareness in honour of my cousin.
Paula Long Paula Long from Potomac Falls, VA wrote on December 15, 2016 at 9:58 pm:
First off I want to thank this foundation for making people aware of brain aneurysms 6/9/07 I was 47yrs old and I suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm on the tennis playing a match. I had never had a headache in my life and I was in excellent health. During the match I started to feel severe pain in my head radiating down my back and tingling in my legs and I started to see halos. I thought I was having my first headache ever and it was going to be a migraine. I missed a volley at the net and my partner stopped the match because I seemed very off. Then the nausea started they helped me off the court but I convinced them to call my husband to pick me up and take me to the emergency room near our home about 20min from the court. I was in and out of consciousness to the hospital. I was triaged and they did a CT and discovered the subarachnoid rupture but they could not treat me there. They told my husband I would probably not survive the flight to Fairfax Hospital and that he needed to say goodbye to me. I had to be airlifted to Fairfax Hospital in VA where Neurosurgeon Dr Jae Lim drilled a hole in my head to relieve the pressure. Then they decided that I could either have the bleed clipped via hemilectomy or coil the bleed done by a neuro radiologist. They ended up calling in Dr Putman to coil the bleed. I continued to seizure for 5 days due to vasospasms so it was decided that I need to have a shunt placed to relieve the high pressure a permanent programmable shunt was placed by Dr Lim. I spent 30 days in Neuro ICU but I was able to go home afterward because my sister and husband were able to take care of me 24/7. I had to learn to walk and talk again. It took me 5 months to go back to work as a veterinary technician. I have not had a headache since but my shunt has needed adjustments several times. I was able to stop taking anti seizure medication after 7 months and only had one seizure after I left the hospital. It was a tough recovery but the moral to my story is that if you have something so extreme happen to you call an ambulance so they can triage to the appropriate hospital. I was very lucky to have survived and my siblings have had scans done to make sure they do not have any aneurysms I lead a normal life now working 40 hours a week and play tennis 5-6 days a week. I attribute my survival to the healthy lifestyle I have always lived, excellent surgeons and nurses and wonderful family and friends.
Nancy Nancy from Arlington,WA wrote on December 15, 2016 at 9:26 pm:
I am so glad to see this site set up with the goal of making people aware of the signs of an aneurysm. I wish I would have had the information 21 years ago when I suffered mine. I had all the signs. I had experienced severe headaches , blurred vision, incidents of falling, and when I went to the Doctors...he told me I was just going through the "change of life". He gave me a hormone shot and sent me home. I had been suffering blurred vision and waves in my eyes for a couple of years. When I had surgery the Dr. told me that the aneurysm had been there for some time, because my system had caused it to calcify and had prevented it from rupturing. He told me I was a very lucky little girl...I ended up being sent by ambulance to Harborview, the trauma center in Seattle, WA because at the same time they found that my carotid artery on the left side was blocked 99.4 %. This resulted in a stroke and the loss of vision on my right side....After several days of testing...they did the artery surgery first and followed up 2 week later with the brain surgery. I was lucky enough to have the best brain surgeon from the University of Washington & Harborview Trauma Center. It has been 21 years and I am 72 and still going strong....Thank you for allow us to share our experiences and for the work you are doing to save even more victims of aneurysms.

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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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P.O. Box 13

Frankenmuth, MI 48734

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