My world came crashing down

I am writing for my mother who is no longer able to do so, we are a big family of 5 kids, the youngest being 3 months and the eldest 24, my mother is quite young, only 42 an we relied on her a lot. The 27th April 2018 was a normal day for us, my mother went to do some blood tests and in the morning and we then went to get something to eat before i started work.
I received a phone call from my 12 year old brother informing me my mother called an ambulance and was on her way to the hospital, once i arrived in A&E she was not seen by any doctors for hours and was only offered paracetamol for her headache she was having, she informed the doctor that the pain was excruciating and only after 6 hours she was given a CT scan which showed that she had a bleeding in the brain, they then took another 2 hours to transfer her to another hospital which was supposedly the best for neurology.
Once she arrived at St Georges Hospital, they took her for another scan which was when they realised she had subarachnoid haemorrhage and they needed to do the coiling procedure straight away to coil the aneurysm, this was a success and she was taken to ICU after it was completed.
The whole week she was fine, only complaining of headaches and not having coco pops or her kids with her. Once she was transferred from ICU to another ward for recovery she started to experience complications such as weakness on the let side and slurred words, this was on Saturday 5th May, they then took her back into ICU as this was signs of Vasospasms and tried to raise her blood pressure really high in order to get the blood and oxygen flowing in her brain. This did not work so on Sunday they took her in to do another procedure to inject the vessels, this worked for a while, i went to visit her Monday, she would still have slurred speech but she could here us and would answer my questions by squeezing my hand.
The following day she deteriorated and was send for the same procedure again, at this point she was not responding when we spoke to her and appeared to be in a deep sleep and was put on a breathing ventilator.
The then took her to do another scan and procedure, they called us in on Thursday to speak to us and we were told she had several strokes on both sides of the brain and they believed she would deteriorate more and her brain stem cell would die the next day and wanted us to say our goodbyes.
The next day the consultant spoke to us again and said she did not get worse and they would be giving her a few days to see how she would respond.

I’m so sorry about your Mother. Please know that we are praying for your family. My mom also had a rupture, vasospasm and stroke. However, she was not yet awake when all of that happened. Feel free to reach out whenever with any questions or just to vent. :heart:

OH Sofia, what you are describing is indeed a tragedy. I am so sorry about your Mom. There are other folks here who have gone through, or are going through, the nightmare you describe. Regrettably, your experience is not unique. For some people, your Mom and my husband included, the surgery goes well, but the post - op complications are what cause the big and lasting problems. From your post you have done a good job of researching and understanding the medical problems with which your Mom and her medical team are dealing. The challenge with brain injury is twofold: because each brain is unique, the doctors can’t tell us what to expect; there is no normal, like there is after hip replacement or having your appendix out, so you have no benchmark against which to measure you Mom’s progress. The second is that the brain does heal, indeed it does, but it does so incredibly slowly. Think months and years. Right now you are in the very early stages and your Mom’s brain has had hemorrhage, vasospasm and stroke to contend with, as well as the trauma of surgeries and procedures.
Brain injury is a marathon, not a sprint, so care for yourself and your family. There are lots of us here who can and will be here to walk this journey with you. There is a tremendous amount of collective experience and wisdom here. You are not alone.


Thank you I appreciate your prayers, I’m sorry to hear about your other as well, when she woke up was she able to speak or obey commands?

Thank you, indeed it is a slow process, it was frustrating when the doctors could not tell me what will happen in the long run but i understand that every brain is different and tat i will just have to wait and see.

My mum is awake now but she can’t speak or obey commandments so we do not know whether she full understands. sometimes she smiles at me when i say something, and those are the times I cherish as it feels like she is there mentally. She has started rehabilitation but as she doesn’t follow commands it is very hard and little progress is being made.

My mom was not awake for 3 months. They had to trache her in the process, so when she woke up she wasn’t able to speak because of that. She was very out of it since she was on a bunch of medications and woke up with so much time passing. She would obey commands to an extent, but it took her a while to become more aware, stay focused, and be able to carry a full conversations which improved when she was able to come off of a lot of the medications she was on. She still gets confused and it has been a little over a year since her rupture. Again, everyone is different and some people wake up with barley any deficiencies, but recovery can also be a lengthy process. Please do not hesitate to ever reach out with any questions or if you just want to vent!

If your Mom is spontaneously opening her eyes, that is a big step in neurological terms. Take the win, celebrate every little victory. Maybe she is not responding with words, or even understanding what you say, but does she move her eyes to let you know she can see and hear? Two more reasons to rejoice.
Recovering from brain injury is long and hard. Not every day is a good day. That is true in all of life. When my husband had bad days I found it helpful to remind myself that we had gotten through other bad days and were still hanging in.

Thank you that is great to know, it is easier hearing other stories of recovery. My mum does track me with her eyes, but I just do not know whether she understands what is going on around her. They removed the feeding tube from her nose and placed a peg in her stomach for a more permanent placement. She sometimes moves her mouth and i think she’s trying to say something but nothing comes out. My family and I are waiting to see what happens but this happening to her has had a massive impact on our life, I go back to university in September and graduate next year so I keep praying she will improve on time for that as she really wanted to go to that.

Hi Sofia, If your Mom is tracking you with her eyes that is a good sign. The PEG will make her more comfortable. There may be no sound when your Mom moves her lips for a number of reasons. First of all, she CAN move her lips. That is something to celebrate. Your Mom’s vocal cords may
have been injured during intubation. That’s what happened to my husband. Months later, after speech therapy and hours of practice he regained his voice. There may be an issue with injury in some part of her brain. But that will all become clear down the road. From what you have written, your Mom is on the painfully slow and circuitous road to improvement. Good for you for going back to school in the fall. You will make your Mom proud.