I suffered an unexpected ruptured brain aneurysm in 2006. I was unaware the almost 1/2" diameter aneurysm was there. I went to the ER, they discovered the bleed and I was sent down to Maine Medical Center where Dr. Eddie Kwan performed endovascular coiling on my aneurysm via the femoral artery in the groin.

16 micro-thin, platinum coils were inserted into the aneurysm via the femoral artery. My skull did not have to be opened for major brain surgery. I was very lucky.

Subsequent checkups on the aneurysm then revealed either the coils had compacted (pulled away from inside edges of the annie) or the aneurysm has expanded and blood was now flowing back into the aneurysm. This created new concerns because this aneurysm had already ruptured once.

In March of 2011, a stent was placed into the artery where the aneurysm is, then in April of 2011, Dr. Robert Ecker at Maine Medical Center inserted four more coils through the stent into the aneurysm remnant where the blood was flowing into it. I also had a reaction to the contrast dye, but made it through that okay.

However, my story doesn't end there as a new, smaller 3mm aneurysm was discovered on the same artery. It was decided no course of action would be taken at that point and it would be monitored through regular checkups.

Knowing I have an aneurysm or an issue that I AM aware of, I'd much rather know than not know. Having an opportunity to save my own life is a good thing and being aware of your own health and conditions is the only way you can be in control of it.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get my sister Dori to get scanned after my rupture and she tragically passed away in May 2012. She suffered a massive rupture, was in a coma for almost 2 weeks and we had to let her go. The damage was too severe. Heartbreaking and unfortunate because it COULD have been prevented had she been scanned. Her aneurysm was 6 mm and would have more than likely been visible. 

In early April of 2013, we discovered my 2nd, smaller aneurysm was growing. I didn't want to think about it then, but knew I'd eventually have to make a decision that would possibly save my life. So in January of 2014, I had that clipped.

If you have a 1st degree relative who has a brain aneurysm, PLEASE ask your doctor, no...INSIST on a CT-Scan or an MRA. It could save your life and save your family from going through what mine just went through.

My 5-Year Annie-Versary Video-Oct. 2011

"I am not a victim that was merely spared; I was saved and I will continue to fight as a survivor for as long as I can here on this big, blue and green globe called Earth. I have to because I ain't quitting!"


–John Cooper, fellow aneurysm survivor

A recap one week after the craniotomy and clipping of my 2nd Un-Ruptured Brain Aneurysm – Jan. 21, 2014

My Story

Join us in our efforts to raise Brain Aneurysm Awareness. Visit MaineBA.org for more information.

Tea Time With Heidi

MAINEBA.ORG

My brain Blog

When I was able to type better and was back home, I began retroactively recording what had happened to me since my ruptured aneurysm back in 2006 in a blog. I was in the hospital 20 days, but I start the blog from the day the aneurysm burst to the present.

My Brain Bling

- 20 platinum Coils (big black blob)

- 1 aneurysm Stent

- 1 titanium Clip

- Several titanium plates and screws

VIDEOS