Anna’s Story

My name is Anna. I am 40 years old, married with a daughter and I work as a school teacher.

Three years ago, I received the most horrific news. I had been concerned about a pain in the side of my face and in my jaw and expressed this to my primary care doctor who sent me for a CT Scan and an MRI. I was diagnosed with two brain aneurysms. The words, brain aneurysms, sounded very frightening but they were only words to me. I had absolutely no idea what an aneurysm was or any idea of the seriousness of the illness. There is a disturbing lack of information about brain aneurysms among the general public. Therefore, it is extremely important for primary care doctors and local physicians to be aware of the disease and have information available to their patients.

The news changed the lives of my family and friends. We were fighting something that we knew very little about. As a family, we had to make very serious decisions and could only pray that they were the right ones. My aneurysms had not ruptured. Even the pain in the side of my face was probably not related to the aneurysms. Should we do nothing and hope they never burst or should we risk two invasive operations? After several consultations with a top neurosurgeon, we weighed all the factors, calculated the odds as best we could, and finally opted to have the clipping surgeries. About 40% of the people who have a ruptured aneurysm will die as a result. I am one of the lucky ones, who found out in time, and had a chance to decide what was the best treatment option for me. I am fortunate that I was able to recover and resume my life. Some days I get tired easily and my short term memory is not what it used to be. But I am here to watch my daughter grow up and for that I am most thankful.