Kendyl’s Story

On June 3rd, 2015, I woke up to excruciating pain that created a pounding in my head, much worse than any of the migraines I experienced before. My left side was paralyzed, and I called to my mom for help who called 911. The EMTs who arrived, assured my mom I was suffering from a migraine and urged her to let me sleep it off. I knew something was wrong and that I needed medical attention ASAP, so my mom insisted they take me to the hospital.

I arrived at Augusta University Medical Center and was taken to the ER. I was crying out in pain and the medical staff gave me Benadryl to help me sleep. I eventually started vomiting and that is when I was rushed to have a CT scan that showed a brain bleed. Dr. Cargill Alleyne informed my family that this was not just a migraine but a Subarachnoid hemorrhage. My family could not understand how someone so young and with no prior history of smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, etc. could end up with a ruptured aneurysm.

I had the aneurysm coiled and I was moved to the Neuro-ICU for further monitoring. After the operation my family was unsure if I would walk, talk, or even recognize them. I spent the next three weeks under some of the best care of the hospital employees. There were days that I could not open my eyes because the light created unbearable pain and other days I could not eat because all of the medicine made me feel awful. However, slowly the pain became a little more tolerable and I eventually began hitting milestones that reassured my family I was going to be a survivor.

Four months after my ruptured brain aneurysm, I walked down the aisle and married the man that has been by my side since I was 15 years old. Since the rupture, we have hosted fundraisers, awareness events, and even created the BrainPower Bonanza that help us raise and donate over $13,000 to The Brain Aneurysm Foundation. It is important to me to raise awareness about risk factors and steps to take if someone is suspected of having an aneurysm. Something inside of me knew this was not normal and I realized that you must be an advocate for yourself or have someone that can advocate for you. It is so crucial to listen to your intuition in regard to your health.

These days I live a relatively normal life and outside of the occasional headaches. I consider myself blessed and thank God daily for allowing me to survive such a terrifying event. I am 1 in 50.