Sena’s Survivor Story

On July 22, 2020, I suffered an ischemic stroke, causing a collapse on a hard tile floor. I landed on the back of my head, which ultimately caused the rupturing of a brain aneurysm that I didn’t know existed. I was knocked unconscious; thankfully, a family member was at my house and assisted me. Unknowing what had happened, my family member placed an ice pack on the back of my head until July 24.

Once partially awake, my cognitive abilities were not as expected, so a call was made to the EMS. I was taken to the local hospital, where they performed a CT scan of my brain and noticed a brain bleed. I was airlifted to another hospital 45 minutes away, where a trauma team was prepared to perform a craniotomy.

I do not recall the incident, the fall, the EMS, or the flight. However, I woke up five days later in a Trauma ICU with about 100 staples in my head. Given the time of the incident, I was not allowed any visitors due to Covid-19. I do not know the exact time frame, but I was utterly shocked when I was told what had happened. To make it worse, I was a 48-year-old woman with hair down to my waist and was now bald. I stayed in the ICU for about two months with no skull, although the hospital had a helmet made for me so that I could get out of my bed. They allowed me to come home for a few weeks before returning for the cranioplasty. Back to the ICU, I went to recover from the implantation of my skull back into my head. Once the skull was returned, I began rehab to learn to walk and do remedial tasks.

I thank the good Lord every day for sparing my life as I am the mother of what was then a 12-year-old boy. Numerous neurologists and neurosurgeons questioned me about my aneurysm; I never had any typical symptoms of a brain aneurysm. Doctor after doctor told me I should not have lived more than 20 minutes, but I did! I survived three days before having part of my skull removed, which would allow my brain to swell. I survived. After repeatedly being told that there was no explanation for surviving, I knew it was not a scientific/medical reason; it was God’s will. Later I found that several churches in my community would pray for me every Sunday; once I recovered, I graciously thanked them all for the prayers.

They told me I would never have the same functionality as before the stroke, but I am here to tell you today that I can walk, drive, work, type this story, and care for myself and my 14-year-old son. I give thanks for the knowledge the doctors had to save me, but I ultimately believe it was God and the number of prayers that saved me and allowed me to be me today.

I tell people not to fear and that God is with them every day, watching and caring for them and those around them. I am a survivor, a miracle, and God’s child. I am truly blessed to be here today. Never give up hope, and never lose your Faith in God. Just because the medical journals say it is impossible, I say read the book given to us to follow, and that will see you through.

That is my story, and I am proud of who I am and what I have conquered. Thanks to all my family, friends, and the grace of God.