Dad had a grade 4 ruptured aneurysm

Hi everyone! I’m happy to have found this great resource. Two weeks ago today my dad had a grade 4 aneurysm rupture. He luckily made it to the hospital, had surgery and has been in the ICU ever since. The first two or three days after his rupture he was responding to commands (like holding up two fingers, sticking out his tongue, etc), but that has slowed. Now he mostly just opens his eyes when spoken to. We are getting worried that his progress seems to have stopped. Has anyone experienced this? It’s getting so hard going to the hospital each day hoping he’ll show some responsiveness and then it not happening.

Hi Sara, so sorry your Dad is going through this. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to see someone you love go through this. I was on the other end and have no memory of the first few weeks. What I do know is that this is a slow and long process of recovery. I don’t just mean slow…really slow. Rest is so important. Make sure you take care of yourself and let friends and family help out when you can. Have you talked with his doctors? Where are you located? Hang in there and stay positive.

Thanks so much, Shelly. I am so glad you recovered! He is at a hospital on Long Island…supposedly one of the best for neurosurgery in the country. My mom and I are lucky to have a good support system and have help…but it is still very, very difficult. After his surgery his doctors told us to expect him to be in the hospital for at least two weeks…and here it is two weeks later and he’s not even close to leaving the ICU, let alone leaving the hospital altogether. Can a person have a very slow recovery in the beginning and still make a good recovery? Does speed of recovery have anything to do with quality or extent of recovery?

Hi Sara...your Dad is early in the healing...and often one takes a few steps forward and a few back...I am not sure of what your dad is going through...but remember the brain needs lots of rest to heal...and sometimes the littlest changes (which you may not even recognize) are big improvements...

What is the medical staff telling you about your dad? Don't lose hope...pray and tell him you love him...that is so important for one to heal...God Bless ... ~ Colleen

Thanks for you note, Colleen. The doctors say his recovery has plateaued, but they are “cautiously optimistic” that he can still recover. They do seem a little concerned that he hasn’t made any progress in terms of following commands or getting off his respirator in the last week, although he is more medically stable…fever gone, no more seizures, no vasospasms, etc. It is just so hard going to see him everyday just praying so hard that he’ll give us some sign that he is getting better, and not seeing it.

Sara, I had a SAH and was in the NICU for almost 30 days Two weeks of it in the induced coma....I am a true believer in miracles and prayer warriors and this community is made up of all of the above! So dont loose hope...continue with your faith and remember you and your family need to stay strong and rested to....You all went threw a trauma as well and the journey to healing is a long one and all of us here are here to help with prayers to answer questions or just a place to vent!

always in my prayers dee

Thanks Darcy! That’s so wonderful you’ve recovered! And you better believe we have been praying non stop! Thanks for sharing your story…you’ve given me some hope!

Sara...welcome, I expect you will get lots of responses...

I am so sorry for you all for what you are experiencing w/your dad's status. Did he have open surgery / clips or the minimally invasive coiling?

All of us in recovery may have relapses during recovery...for weeks, months, years...Unfortuanely, there is not perfection...I had an "early admit" to internal rehab (same facility and then had more issues...) Prayers that your dad is not discharged early, sent to rehab, etc...

Please secure a list of the drugs being put into his system...and, ask all the "why, how come" to the neuro-specialists...and the ICU specialists...

Also ask for the specifics, i.e. the artery, its segment, the size/shape; why the selection of the clip or coil...and everything else you may know / or think of... Coming back will find others who have the same areas affected, the type of treatment, etc...

Some patients have been placed in CCU (coronary care) and to communciate w/those of similar issues, it is important to know the basics...artery /segment...etc...

Hugs and prayers for his continued healing...that you all get/keep your rest / your health...your dad would want that!


hi Sarah! took me a while to reply cause of the storm but i was happy to see the others encouraging words, and i agree 100%- my niece said i was not responsive and she blamed heavy duty drugs. Please don't get discouraged, try to think positive as possible as i was expected to live back home like i'm doing. Being a grade 5 they were even discussing the unthinkable. Also you may have caught him at a bad time so i'll keep you all in my thoughts & prayers!

Thanks, Ron…where are you? We are on Long Island…no serious damage to our home, but many people here weren’t so lucky. Still waiting for electricity though. That’s wonderful to hear you’ve recovered fom a grade 5! My dad is on fentanyl because whenever they try to take him off of it his blood pressure shoots up and he gets very agitated. So I wonder sometimes if the drugs are keeping him a little out of it. Thanks for your reply!

Hi sara, I too had a grade 4 ruptured aneurysm and am here to tell you that there is hope! It is important for you and your family to take care of yourself because your dad will need you later. I don't have any memory of at least three weeks. It may be combination of injury and drugs he is on. time is the best thing. Prayers for you and your dad. donna

Hi Pat! Thanks for the list of information I should find out. I know they had to get rid of a clot and had to take a piece of his skull off to do it. And to repair the aneurysm I think they did some combo of coils and a “glue” (that’s how the doctor explained it). But I will find out all the other specifics you mentioned so I can advocate for the best possible care for him. Thanks again!

just have faith and hope for the best. things take time and might go a bit off at times.

I also had a grade 4 rupture on 9/18/11. Apparently I was fine after the initial surgery but once the vasospasms started & emergency surgery was done everything changed. I was in ICU for 27 or 28 days & lost all of my short term memory for about 40 days, thus I have no memory whatsoever about anything that took place. My family said I was sort of "out of my mind". Apparently I was seeing girraffs (sp) & was traveling to all different cities. Please keep the faith. My husband is a RN. When I was transfered from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor back to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City for rehabilitation I still had no short term memory & required 24 hour care. My family was discussing what they were going to have to do with me (ie facility placement). Then all of a suddon my short term memory came back. It's hard telling what will happen but as I said please keep the faith.

hi Sarah! still here!!!lol im in pa near philly. Hoping you see improvment.oh yeah if you click on our red names you can go to our pages. thank God your ok!!

Thanks Donna…so glad you are well now! It gives me hope to hear from people who have had grade 4 or 5 ruptures. And thanks for you good advice to take care of myself. It’s been two and a half weeks and I’m totally exhausted…I can see how someone could completely burn themselves out over the course of a few months.

Thanks Laurie! Nice to meet you!

Thanks Julie…I’m glad you are doing well. Your story gives me hope!

Hi sara, this is as much trauma for you and family as it is for your dad. You have to remind yourself because you'll go through all kinds of emotions. talking and venting is a help but remember you can't take care of anyone if your not in good shape. Hope and preayers for u and dad. donna

I had a very similar situation with my father. The 1st week after surgery he was responding to commands then the vasospasms started & we weren’t getting any responses from him. Once they stopped he started responding again but very intermittently but as time went on it did get better. Keep talking to him & hold onto hope that things will get better because they do. My father spent 3 months in ICU with numerous set backs mostly respiratory issues. When the doctors & nurses tell you it’s a long slow road believe me they are right. I found this site back in July but just started blogging wish I had earlier everyone has been so supportive.