Reagan’s Story

On June 16, 2018, when I was 13, my dad and I were returning from a trip to California. Our flight landed around midnight, we drove home and were finally in bed around 2 a.m. I turned on a 5-minute video to help me wind down, shortly after I had a seizure. My sister and mom heard me making a crying-like noise and rushed to my room. They realized quickly that it was serious. My jaw was clenched, and I couldn’t move. Shortly after the seizure, I lost my vision. My sister called 911.

When the paramedics arrived, their first question was “could it be drug related?” My parents assured them it had to be something else. They took me to the nearest hospital and while I was there, I had another seizure. I was intubated and given a CT scan. At that point, they realized it was brain related, critical and that they needed to get me to the Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center that was about 45 minutes away. Upon arrival, a team of neurosurgeons assessed me and determined I had a ruptured PICA aneurysm; a major bleed and that coiling was the best way to repair. They prepared my family for an unfavorable outcome, saying that if I survived that it would be a miracle if I was anywhere close to normal. After spending 20 days in the PICU, I was able to return home with my family and I spent the rest of the summer regaining strength so I was able to start high school in August.

My doctors and nurses consider me a miracle because I regained all of my speech and motor skills. I am very thankful for the amazing outcome and I now hope to spread awareness. I feel like I have a unique perspective now, as a teenager, considering the trauma I endured and recovered from. I get the value of life and how the delicate balance of good health can be taken from you, through no fault of your own, at any time.