Lisa’s Survivor Story

 

February 1, 2005, started out as an ordinary day but quickly became a day that divided life into before and after. While driving to work, I suffered a massive brain aneurysm that caused me to lose consciousness and sent me over a sixty-foot bank. Doctors did not expect me to survive, and my family was called to say their final goodbyes, but people from all over the world began to pray for me. Miraculously, I survived, but suffered a major stroke on the right side of my brain that left me with no use of my left arm or hand, and initially paralyzed in my leg.

Even though I had survived, I had a long recovery ahead of me.  A month after being released from the rehabilitation hospital, I told my husband my, “head felt funny.” He immediately put me in the car, and we were off to the hospital.  Shortly after arriving at the hospital, I was unable to walk. Scans showed more bleeding from a newly formed aneurysm at the base of the first one. This time coils were placed to stop the bleeding, and a VP shunt was placed to relieve the pressure in my brain. I eventually left the hospital with more deficits as all sorts of therapy were ahead of me. Determined to live life, I flew to Oklahoma for my sister’s wedding.

Upon returning from my sister’s wedding, I had a six-month follow-up scan which showed the coiled aneurysm grew into a giant one, and another rupture was only a matter of time. My doctors weren’t exactly sure what to do considering I had several major brain surgeries only months ago.

After consulting with top surgeons from around the world, a 23-hour surgery was performed to use my temporal artery to bypass the right middle cerebral artery. The head neurosurgeon on my case remarked, “I am not a religious man, but I know it was the hand of God that got you to the hospital alive.” The power of prayer was evident, with many individuals across the globe sending their positive thoughts and support. After being with me for the entire surgery, the neurosurgeon told my family that he knew he was not alone during that surgery, and he described there as “being a Presence with me.” My chances of survival for this third surgery were said to be one-tenth of one percent.

When I was told by a therapist at the rehabilitation hospital that I had a brain injury, I was shocked and felt completely without hope. But I am thankful that God chose to spare my life and heal me in so many miraculous ways, even though the medical community deemed my survival and ability to function impossible. I still live with cognitive deficits, neuro-fatigue, and some mysterious medical anomalies, but I am determined to live my life to the fullest.