Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Surviving 5 Aneurysms and 4 Brain Surgeries My Wifes Story

To whom it my concern:

On December 13th, 2013, my wife was attending school to become an acupuncturist and doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in her third year of study. She was in class and all of the sudden she had stiff painful neck and then she began losing her hearing, when she trying to stand she collapsed. An ambulance was called and she was transported to the Hospital. During the trip she had a seizure and was unable to breathe and required the use of a ventilator. On arrival at the hospital she was already in a coma.

A CTA scan was done and it was determined that she had a 4.5mm subarachnoid hemorrhage ( SAH ) of the Basilar artery tip Also Known as the (widow maker) aneurysm among Nero Surgeons. Along with an arterial aneurysms along the left and right Middle Cerebral Artery (MCA) that had not ruptured. They were able to repair the basilar aneurysm with 3 coils during a 7 hour operation. The Nero surgeons didn't have high hopes of her surviving, telling me that it only takes 9 – 11 seconds to die from that kind if aneurysm bleed and they could not explained why she was able to survive to this point.

They also told me that this type of aneurysm causes many deficits from organs not working, stroke like paralysis, and she may be unable to eat on her own, speak or function normally. I researched statistics and found that out of a 1000 people this happens to only 20 survive, by the end of the first year only 2 would be left alive, but with major deficits.

The following day they were able to remove the ventilator once she was strong enough to breathe on her own and bring her out of an induced coma at this point. She was able to speak both languages fluently without slurring in about 20 minutes (Korean and English). Her motor skills were fine with no problems, she only had about a three minute memory at this point and remained that way for about a week before the swelling on the brain went down and she started to remember. She remained in ICU for 5 days until a bed was available on the Nero unit.

She was able to walk to the washroom with help on day 5. By day 7, she was improving greatly, her short term memory returned and she was doing well other than massive body and head pain. She was ready to be released on day 14 but had contracted e.coli pyelonephritis and had a kidney infection and was kept another 4 days and released on December 31st 2013.

Once home she started to fall into deep depression. Her world as she knew it had come crashing down, she was the type of person that would run 18 hours a day and tried to be the best at everything she did. Now she was unable to look after herself. And didn’t even want to see friends because she thought they would see her as weak and a failure. She was also so scared of dying that she was getting anxiety, and every new headache was an alarm that maybe another aneurysm was bleeding.

After about 3 months battling depression she started to turn around, and showed signs of improvement each day. Between January 2014 and June 2014, we had over 30 visits to the emergency department. On June 11, 2014 she had her next surgery on the right MCA temple area just back from the right eye. They were able to Clip this aneurysm and the procedure went well. She went home from the hospital after about the 3 day, but 2 days later had to return due to a bleed between the brain membrane and the skull bone that was putting pressure on the brain and was causing her to keep trying to throw up. After a few days in the hospital she was able to return home and improved daily.

She was busy trying to do things and felt life was improving, the trips to the emergency also slowed down. We arranged her next surgery on Monday October 06, 2014. They were going to repair the last one on the MCA left in the speech area of the brain and went through the skull in the temple area just behind the left eye. They completed it in about 6 hours using 2 clips. They were worried about her speech, but when she woke up in recovery she was able to speak with no problem. They preformed some follow-up scans on Thursday October 09, 2015 and realized that there were more aneurysms deeper in the brain past were they had operated.

So on Saturday October 11, 2014 they took her back into surgery and went in through the same hole as Monday, when they went in deeper they found 2 more aneurysms that were wrapped around the vessel and didn’t show up on the previous scans. One appeared to have micro bled in the past by the scar tissue they encountered around it, and the resident said it was scary thin and could have bled any day. They were able to remove 1 of the previous clips and put in 2 more.

She has had no lasting deficits from any of the surgeries and returned to school on Feb 09, 2015 to resumed classes and treat patients in clinic. We were ask to join the inspires program at our hospital and have been seeing patients weekly since, we are working with brain aneurism patients and giving back support and hope to the aneurysm survivors and families, who better to ask then a survivor of 5 aneurysms and 4 brain surgeries that has pulled through to answer questions and give hope. We are also active with the brain aneurysm meetings at our hospital each month to provide support to other survivors. Currently we only have 3 volunteers for the aneurysm patients.

On June 28, 2015 my wife graduated, it was yet another hurdle that she had to climb and a very joyous occasion.

So in one year she had about 19 CTscans, 4 Brain surgeries and 5 Brain aneurysms repaired 1 coiled, 4 clipped. With no deficits or Memory loss which is unheard of. Some might say she’s lucky but it was more than luck, everybody was at the right place at the right time even the ambulance guy were across the street from her school grabbing a coffee when the call came in, they were there in less than 2 minutes. She has surpassed statistic after statistic. She is a Victor not a Victim. We would like to thank the Nero Team at our Hospital who preformed all her surgeries. Everyone from our daughters Christian School That she attends, for their support and prayers. Our church for all their prayers and support. Along with my wife's Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture school for their payers and support along with the many others who helped and supported us through this past year and a half.

I have been with my wife every single day through her surgeries and recovery. She is inspiring people and giving hope to others through her story and experiences everyday by taking a negative experience and turning it into a positive experience.

Brain Aneurysm month is September here, I felt that the awareness and hope she can bring to more people, that you can survive an aneurysm and recover and you can move on with life needs to be told. Lots of people hear the word aneurysm and they assume the worst.

This is just a small amount of the things we have encountered over the past year and a half, along with the tears and suffering our children have endured.

My wife continues to treat patients in clinic at her school of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture and is pursuing more knowledge to help treat her patients to the best of her ability through her own experiences, compassion and acupuncture.

Wow, she is a victor indeed, Norm. Terrific story -- thanks for sharing with us. I'm so glad your wife is doing well.

What wonderful success story! God bless you and your family. My husband survived a ruptured aneurysm February 18, 2015. He also survived without any deficits.

Yes, it's more than luck. Remind me of what the nurse told me when my wife was in. She could wake up and walk out of here like nothing happened, or she could wake up and not know anyone, or anything in between. Need to recognize God's blessings and be thankful.

I think surviving this event is a miracle to start with but to survive with no deficits is unbelievable I had ruptured aneurysm on 17/9/14 and have trouble with weak left hand and short term memory. Multi tasking also causes me issues and anxiety. I live in hope that I might be the old me again and this story is certainly inspiring The brain’s powers of recovery and regeneration are well documented and I hope in time to recover to as near to 100% as I can.
I had a stroke during coiling to repair aneurysm and follow up scan recently in Oxford…

Wow, what a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing and for all the support your wife provides to others facing aneurysm surgery. Having undergone my own surgery just two weeks ago I can still not imagine what it has been like for her with all she has endured. Thanks again and May God continue to bless you.

What a story! What a fighter!

Thanks for sharing your story and your blessings. We are all grateful for you and your wife, how you give back and inspire the rest of us!

God's grace to you and your families.

Norm,

What an inspiring story! To you and your wife my gratitude for sharing this very difficult but inspiring, part of your journey.

May your wife continue to be well and you can both live happily, many many more year to come.

Respectfully,

Maya

Great story! Did you ever have acupuncture ? Before or after?

What a wonderful blessing for your wife and your family!! It's great that you are giving back by volunteering with other patients! You guys have been through alot and its great that you can offer encouragement to others! May God continue to bless you all!

Wow…i would love to talk to you one on one when u have the time…i am a surviver of a brain anurism also 3 years ago june i had open brain surgery…my anurism is in my internal carotid artery. They planned on putting in coils but the anurism was so thin and had a whole in it. The drs were amazed they said i was a sneeze away from it hemrogine. And because of where it is i would have died instantly…this past winter i started having seizures and TIAs this summer it has become worse n worse… The dr are making it like i now have epilepsy and that i am just in some kind of pts from the previous surgery…due to nothing coming up in the mris n mras…but I know theres something more going on…I cant even lift my right arm over my shoulder anymore

This is AWESOME! Love it! Your wife is like a super hero. Wonder woman?

Thanks! so much for your words of support.

Madere (dancermom) said:

Wow, she is a victor indeed, Norm. Terrific story -- thanks for sharing with us. I'm so glad your wife is doing well.

Hi Anne: I'm so happy that your husband is doing so well in such a short time amazing. Thanks! for your support!

Anne Boychuk said:

What wonderful success story! God bless you and your family. My husband survived a ruptured aneurysm February 18, 2015. He also survived without any deficits.

Yes your right, it's still so surreal to me. I pray your wife is doing fine. If God puts his hand on you it doesn't matter. You'll get through it! Thanks for your words of support.

ADRauch said:

Yes, it's more than luck. Remind me of what the nurse told me when my wife was in. She could wake up and walk out of here like nothing happened, or she could wake up and not know anyone, or anything in between. Need to recognize God's blessings and be thankful.

Yes you are correct to survive and have no deficits is unbelievable! My wife and I had never realized this until we began volunteering at the hospital to provide support and encouragement to survivors and their families that this became a real eye opener. Others like yourself are fighters, and don't know how to quit. We see the improvements with survivors all the time. Remember it's a brain injury and it takes time. You'll get there, Wow as if aneurysm wasn't bad enough to have a stroke at the same time. Your a fighter, keep it up, you can do it! Thanks for your reply!

TMG1297 said:

I think surviving this event is a miracle to start with but to survive with no deficits is unbelievable I had ruptured aneurysm on 17/9/14 and have trouble with weak left hand and short term memory. Multi tasking also causes me issues and anxiety. I live in hope that I might be the old me again and this story is certainly inspiring The brain's powers of recovery and regeneration are well documented and I hope in time to recover to as near to 100% as I can.
I had a stroke during coiling to repair aneurysm and follow up scan recently in Oxford....

I'm glad that you liked it, Thanks for your support.

Christine T said:

Wow, what a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Thanks so much for your comments, I remember my wife saying "it's pretty bad when you have to recover to have another surgery!" We are praying for you to have a speedy recovery, God Bless.

crazyleg said:

What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing and for all the support your wife provides to others facing aneurysm surgery. Having undergone my own surgery just two weeks ago I can still not imagine what it has been like for her with all she has endured. Thanks again and May God continue to bless you.