The Details

On 9/28/10, I was working from home and while sitting at my desk, I felt what I can only describe as a sudden 'g-force' pressure on top of my head that rolled down my face. I've told people it was though I was a human pez dispenser with a force pushing me down. As soon as it began, the room began to spin... slowly at first and then quickly gathering speed. I felt myself growing nauseated so I put my head down between my knees which is when I realized that my neck had grown stiff. I knew instantly that something was absolutely wrong inside of my head. I wasn't in any major pain at that moment but the room continued to spin. I picked up my phone with a touchscreen and tapped on my fiance's face (speed dial on smart phones.. one of the best inventions ever). I told him that something was really wrong and that he needed to come get me. I felt a sense of panic as I said that and while he was asking me the details, the wave of nausea hit and I stumbled to the bathroom to vomit. This is when the pain began. Each time I would vomit, a wave of pain would slam into my forehead. I have the message history from when it happened and I notified my team scheduler that I had to leave. There were typos and repeated words. I stated that something had popped yet I don't remember saying those exact words. Once my fiance picked me up, we went to the ER and I repeated the same story. I guess because I never said "worst pain of my life" or "thunderclap", they thought I was having a migraine and it took 1.5 hours to finally get seen. After 1.5 hours, it became horrible but I've given birth to 3 kids so pain is relative. Mind you, I had no history of migraines. In hindsight, I did have vision issues but they were ocular migraines which my eye Dr noted as normal. I also had my left eye twitch constantly prior to the coiling but I've not had either since. Upon getting the initial CT scan, I noted that the atmosphere changed in an instant. I kind of had the feeling that I was being patronized until the results came back at which point, everything became serious. I was told that I had a very large aneurysm and that it was leaking. Then they gave me morphine and said that I was very lucky as that hospital had one of the best neurosurgeons around. I was told then that I'd have an angio CT so that they could see what they were dealing with. I remember everything... even the song on the radio. When I came to from the angio, my neurosurgeon was there telling me that if I did not have the aneurysm coiled, there was a 100% chance I would die. If I got the coiling, my chances were 90% that I would survive. I remember thinking "well then fix it!". He told me that it wasn't leaking but that it had burst. The only thought I had during all of this was for my daughters. I had my telepathic chat with my God .. accepting that if it was my time; then fine but that I had really hoped to be around long enough to see my grandchildren. Not to mention that I was engaged to the best man on the planet! I saw it as a blessing each time I woke up. I felt the energy of peoples' prayers for me and it humbled me and made me cry; overwhelmed by emotion. My aneurysm was in my left vertebral artery, 12.1 mm and I had 17 coils put into it. I was told that I was one of 5% to have a rupture and suffer relatively no side effects. I have had chronic headaches since and a bit of PTSD but am getting better every day. I still have days where I just cry with joy and days when I cry because someone elses' family member was not as lucky. I find I stutter more; struggling to find words and I find that I have no desire to climb the career ladder any more. I like my job but will not longer "kill myself" to be successful (pun intended). The way I see it, I AM successful. I still need to talk about it a lot much to my daughters dismay. I have explained to them that talking about it is my therapy and that if I can help even one person, then I will be happy. I know we all question our purpose on this planet after something like this happens. Perhaps that is my purpose.. or to be lucky enough to see my grandchildren someday. I'm hopeful.


Thanks for sharing your story. So glad you made it. Iv'e been living with an unruptured annie since 2008 and I also feel the need to talk about it. Most people don't want to hear about it. But on this site you can vent, ask questions, share your concerns and you know that others understand.



Wow Karen! Hooray another survivor story:) I find myself so anxious to hear them so thank you! When is your wedding day? Are you married to best man on eart yet? Continue to heal and I will keep you in the prayers of my God too;)

Hi Karen...

Like Deanna said, I agree..."Thanks for sharing your story"...You are not only a survivor, but an inspiration...

God Bless...Cyber~thoughts your way...Colleen

I had the exact symptoms or onset as you , but i fighted like you stay up. And try to let your children know they or there children might be at risk, i thought about that the other day and got SICK.

Heather, yes I did marry him! We got married on 8/6/11.

Laurie, I found out my aneurysm was caused by blunt force trauma to my head when I was a teenager. I knocked a metal locker door off it's hinges with my head. Mad skills, I tell ya! The dr said my artery diseased over the years. It's amazing to think I managed to give birth to 3 kids and yet it never ruptured before it did.

well i was told i was born with a weak artery but being in a abusive relationship i just dont know, i left that man 18 years ago but i guess damage was done. And i also had two children and feel even more blessed.


That is an incredible story of survival! Congrats and best wishes on your continued healing journey and your after annie life!

God Bless!


Thank you Linda!

You are nothing short of a miracle! Thank you for sharing your story!

I, too, married "the best man in the world" this year because, after almost losing him to an aneuryism 2 years ago and at our ages (51 and 49), we felt time was a wastin'! His story was similar to yours, but he was alone in a hotel room and passed out. He, too, was VERY lucky in that his aneuryism just leaked and then sealed itself off. It was coiled in 2009, but the coils didn't hold it, so he was clipped in 2010 (3 clips!). Today he has his one year checkup and I admit feeling anxiety. I worry every day he might develop another one especially because he's a smoker. :( I worry mostly because he said he'd NEVER go through the surgery again. He's had to take pain meds every day for 10 years due to nerve damage to his chest, so suffers chronic pain, therefore, the doctors really couldn't control his pain after the surgery and he suffered more than anyone can imagine. He said he'd never go through it again. I don't write this to scare anyone because he's a particular case in that regard. I just don't want to lose him. We've only been together 3 years and I want him around for many, many more.

I didn't know blunt trauma could cause an aneuryism. My husband also suffered that as a teen when he hit his head on the bottom of a swimming pool and still has a hemotoma from it. But, 4 other family members have had aneuryisms on his mother's side (grandmother & aunt both died), so it's hereditary anyway.

Anyway, congrats again! God performs miracles every day and you are definitely one!