Brain Aneurysm Support Community

My aneurysm survival story

I was 24 years old when my aneurysm ruptured in my sleep. It woke me up and I jump out of bed. I didn't know what was happening but I knew something was wrong. I went to my my mom's bedroom to wake her and let her know. I said "mom".... then it all went black. When I opened my eyes I heard my mom calling an ambulance and my dad holding me. I was so confused.....the headache was unbearable. I remember being taken in the ambulance but nothing else. It must have been a few days later when I found out what happened. My ruptured aneurysm had been coiled. I had a shunt placed as well. It was all new to me....I didn't even know what an aneurysm was! It was a hard reality to swallow but I recovered well and went home in 2 weeks. However my story doesn't end there.....
After a routine angiogram four years later, I was told the aneurysm was at risk of rebleeding. The exact words are a blur to me but for me it meant the coils didn't work. My only option was the craniotomy. I was so scared....I thought this aneurysm was taken care of. I came to except the inevitable. I had to. I was going to go in as an existing aneurysm survivor and a mom of a I year old that wanted to be healthy for her child. I was scared but also confident everything was going to go well. On December 3,2004 my craniotomy was performed successfully. However , the next day I experienced complications. According to my family, my brain became swollen causing it to press on my spine. Another surgery was performed to relieve the pressure. I stopped breathing a few times. I developed an infection. I stroked. Was unable to move one side of my body. I had tubes everywhere. I had lost so much weight I didn't recognize myself. I strongly thought I was going to die there. I saw no recovery in sight . I had complication after complication. It was a total of 2 months in and out of the hospital and rehab. I had to learn to walk again and get strong enough to take care of myself before I could take care of my son. It was years of recovery. I went through and still go through many ups and downs . When I tell people my story they ask me how I got through all this. It's always been an easy question for me. I survived because of .....my family, my faith and my will to live.

Its been 12 years since my rupture and first surgery and 8 years since my craniotomy. I look back sometimes and realized that I spent most of my 20's fighting for my life. Right before i turned 30 I had had a recent angiogram. Everything was perfect and I suddenly felt free. I was going to turn 30 and start fresh. I was leaving the aneurysm in my 20's and that's what I did. I am 36 now and I have a great husband, 2 sons and a great life. My family is very supportive of me. Although I am told how lucky I am by many, including doctors...I feel blessed. Of course, as we all know, we are never the person we were before. I do suffer from bad migraines, have some memory loss. I also still have the shunt. I must do angiograms every 5 years ...probably for a very long time....but I can do that. I'm just greatful every day of my life.

Wow Nelly,

what an experience at such a young age! What I found most encouraging is that you were able to draw a line under the experience and move on with your life. Why would you want to be the person you were before? that person had an Annie that could have killed her. This person has a great family, children and a good quality of life. You can live with the migranes, a bit of memory loss and the check up's. The most important thing is that you are now free to live your life. There is no point in looking back only look forward. Dont regret the experience or the past it is now part of who you are. None of us have any control over these things the only thing we can control is how we deal with them. This is why your story is so encouraging its not what happened its how you dealt with it.

Jennifer x

Hello Nelly, you have been through so much at a young age. You are truely a survivor and you are blessed with family that love and care for you.

Like Jenniger mentioned you're free now, look forward, don't look back. Congratulations.

God Bless

Nikki xx

Again Welcome Nelly...so happy you posted your story...your positive attitude is so inspiring...

Wishing you a Beautiful day ~ Colleen

hi Nelly- so sorry you had the rupture &all the complications but glad they finally fixed it! I'm curious tho- what was the last fix? clip? Bless you & yours, thanks

It’s definitely an experienced I have moved on from but it’s also an experience I can never forget. I welcome telling anyone my story. In fact, I am proud of my visible scars. They tell my story of survival…my battle…and I’m very proud of that. It’s who I am now.
Ron…My final surgery was the clipping. My aneurysm was behind my right eye…I had double vision for a while…I had to wear a eye patch to help. Fortunately it cleared up and to my surprise my vision became 20/20. My right eye is slightly smaller than my left…but it’s barely noticeable.
Thanks everyone for your kind words. It feels wonderful to share this with you all. God bless.

Nelly