Brandon’s Story

On April 8, 2018, I was scheduled for my 24-hour tour at work; I am a firefighter. However, I wasn’t feeling well and decided to call out sick. My wife and daughter were away on a Girl Scouts weekend. When they came home, I was still in bed, and my wife asked what was wrong. I told her I had a headache and was not feeling well, but I got up and did our daily routine.

The next day, I still did not feel well but wanted to help my wife get out of the house for work, so I went out to warm up the car and put her lunch bag and backpack in the car. I noticed a weird visual feeling and thought nothing of it. Then, as I walked into the house, I felt a blinding pain in the back of my head and behind my right eye; it felt like I was being stabbed. I immediately knew something was terribly wrong and told my wife to call 911!

Everything lined up perfectly for me to still be here today. Within minutes police, fire, and EMTs were at my house. They stabilized me and brought me to the ER. Tests showed a ruptured brain aneurysm, and emergency surgery was performed. I received coils to repair the rupture and had multiple procedures over the next few days. I spent the next 16-18 days being monitored in the ICU and was on numerous medications, too many to mention.

The neurosurgeon explained what would happen to me over the next few weeks; he had told my wife what to expect before he performed the surgery. He was spot on! Over the next 6-9 months, I rehabbed and exercised until I was strong enough to get back to my life, my new normal.

In the hospital and throughout the entire ordeal, I questioned my survival. Why me? Why did I make it? My wife said the doctors need positive outcomes to show they can win the fight. There are days of guilt, and it is an emotional roller coaster.

I am one of the lucky ones! I was able to make it back to my family, back to my life, and back to work! I am amazed by other survivor stories and thrilled to see so many fighting for awareness. I want to thank BAF for all they do and will continue to do!!