My Story~

This is my story as I told it for my son's recent biology research paper on "The Advancements of Brain Aneurysm Research in My Lifetime"

I had a ruptured brain aneurysm on my right temporal artery on May 29, 2007, at the age of 40. I was life-flighted to UPMC Presbyterian, where I spent 3 weeks in the ICU, followed by a week in a rehab hospital. I was in critical condition and I went through a lot of complications, from allergic reactions to medications and blood transfusions to pneumonia. I also had to have a tracheostomy to help me breathe because I was so heavily sedated. My aneurysm was first coiled, and then 3 years later due to regrowth, was clipped. I have to have a CT scan with intravenous dye done every 3 years to check for new aneurysms. Deficit wise, I lost the hearing in my left ear and can't stand any kind of loud noise. I had to learn to walk again. I don't have quite the strength and dexterity with my left-side extremities that I used to. I have trouble with my memory as well, especially when I'm really stressed about something. My emotions are all over the place all the time. I can go from being happy and content one minute to being angry frustrated the next. The Dr.s can tell you what the physical effects of a rupture and recovery will be, but they can't describe the pshychological aspects of it. Like the change in how you think or do things, the questions of why?, things you used to be able to do but can't now, and just the missing of the person that you used to be in general.There are days that I feel great, and then there are days when it feels like my brain is spinning around inside my head like a shaken snow globe. I often describe it like you have too many pages open on your web browser and they're all trying to work at the same time but they can't, so they just lock up. That said, I know that I wouldn't still be here without the Grace of God, the surgeons at UPMC; Dr. Horowitz (an Interventional Neuroradiologist) and Dr. Gardner (a neurosurgeon), and countless other medical personnel. I'm still alive to tell the tale, I continue to work full-time, I run daily and function as normally as most people, just maybe not at the level I used to be able to. My post-rupture 100% isn't the same as it used to be, and that gets frustrating. To look at me, you wouldn't know any difference. The only visible scars I have are from the tracheostomy and a depression in my skull that is covered by hair. The other scars are on the inside, and they're harder to deal with because most people just don't understand that I can look totally normal, but not be.

Hi Lori,

You are so brave, strong and insightful. A true survivor. What amazing progress you have made, it is inspirational. I truly believe that God's grace is working in so many of our lives and his power through our surgeons hands.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Hugs and blessings


Thank you, Sal. ;)

Thank you for sharing your incredible journey sounds like you and I share similar situations, as I had a rupture in late 2006, coma for 6 weeks, also had coiling and a trache, and three years later the coils compacted and I too got a clipping instead of more coils. I had a bit of right sided paralysis afterward (my handwriting was so horrible! Lol) and I know I'm not as sharp as I used to be. Peace to you as you continue thru this journey, and again, thanks for sharing! Janet

Hi Lori...Thank you for sharing this story...I can so relate to much you say and it gives me comfort and others...we are not alone with our feelings...God Bless you ... Wishing you a Beautiful Friday...~ You touched my heart with your story ~ Colleen


Thank you so much for sharing your story. It hit home for me in some of the feelings that I have regarding the scars on the inside. You put into words so many things that I feel as my brain tries so hard to function the way it used to or at least I try to get it to function the same.

You are right, I wouldn't be here still either without the Grace of God and the wonderful surgeon that I had. I feel that I am a different person since my clipping and miss the old me, but at the same time I believe in some ways I am a better person.

Thank you again so much for sharing your story.

God bless,

~ Carol