In this story Allison Kane shares her experience suffering a stroke and a ruptured brain aneurysm.
“At the beginning of April 2021, I was running and had a sharp pain in the right side of my head. I stopped and took a break. Over the next few weeks, I had a dull headache in the middle of my head and some blurry vision with pain behind my eyes. I started getting some intermittent sharp thunderclap headaches. I went to my doctor, who diagnosed me with a sinus infection and sent me home with some antibiotics.
The headaches still came and went until one day; I was hit with one so severe I called my husband and told him I felt like I was dying and needed him to come home.
He got home to find me in the corner of our bedroom on the floor. I remember him asking me questions when he was on the phone with the 911 operator, like can you lift your left arm( I couldn’t) say I love you to him, to which I answered yes in a mumbled slur. She told him I was exhibiting stroke signs and needed to go to the hospital. I have no visual memory, but I do recall hearing the stretcher wheels and other noises as they wheeled me down the stairs into the ambulance. I threw up everywhere on the ride, which is probably when the rupture occurred. When I got to the hospital, I had facial drooping, and they did an MRI that showed I had blood on my brain – a stroke and a ruptured aneurysm! Probably one set off the other. I needed coils inserted where the bleeding was.
At that time, the hospital had an on-call contract vascular surgeon from the closest big city since they lacked one, and it was his first day there. He also happened to be one of the nation’s best! What a miracle!
After the surgery, they put me in a medically induced coma and ventilator. The doctor told my family I might survive for three days, and if I did, they would see my deficiencies. I woke up on the second day talking.
At first, I could not feel my left arm and leg, but it came back. I also lack my left peripheral vision but am told by my doctors it can still come back. The following 3 weeks in the ICU were a blur and confused state for me. I then went for a month of inpatient rehabilitation. They worked on walking with me in a harness then with a hemi walker. When I came home, I continued physical and occupational therapy sessions. I started walking with a cane 6 months later, then eventually, on my own I, completed hyperbaric oxygen treatments, which helped my weak left side and cognitive abilities. My faith, friends, and family have gotten me through this. I am grateful for each day I spend with my husband and daughters.