I was that girl. The girl that thought – if you exercised, had a healthy diet, and took care of yourself physically that nothing could happen. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
4 out of 10 people suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm: And, I am one of them.
At 31, I felt as though I was in the best shape of my life until one morning in February 2004. While at the gym exercising on the elliptical machine, I actually felt something pop in my head. I passed out and was rushed to the hospital to find out that I was bleeding in my brain. I have vague memories of ambulance rides and excruciating pain involved in treatment. If it wasn’t for the amazing Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, his research efforts, and the positive choices I made in life, I would not be here today. I suffered a 7MM brain aneurysm rupture. He performed the coiling procedure via my groin. I recall him saying to me, during my almost 3 weeks in recovery, that it was my level of fitness that saved my life, and my dedication to exercise contributed massively to my survival.
I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people in the world for the fact that I survived something of this caliber and do not have any major limiting issues as a result. I guess, it wasn’t my time.
When I tell people my story, the response is usually, “Wow- you are lucky to be alive!” or they know of someone who died from an aneurysm. Many ask: “Did you have any symptoms?” The answer is “YES!” Three months prior to the rupture, I had odd feeling headaches, and I never got headaches. I was also experiencing ocular migraines. Lastly, I recall months prior to the incident on a flight home from Aruba feeling vertigo and lightheadedness. ALL of these symptoms are easy to ignore. I chalked it up to stress before the holidays.
Ten years later, two amazing women, Erin Kreszl and Christine Doherty Kondra, came into my life. I believe by fate, and they share a similar passion due to a loss of their cousin Jenny, and hence started The Bee Foundation.
My personal interest in brain aneurysm research stems not only from a survivor’s stand point, but to help people avoid the pain, suffering and potential long term recovery and difficulties associated with brain aneurysms. Due to research and current treatments, I am fortunate to be a part of the slowly growing trend of patients who have survived without any permanent damage.
The Bee Foundation makes it possible to not only provide awareness – Bee Aware, but more importantly provide research funding, so that another one in four people don’t suffer as most do. We have desperately needed an organization like the Bee Foundation, especially one started by two women who have such drive, moxie and dedication to not only shed some much needed light on this potentially devastating condition, but to inevitably find a cure.
— Bonnie Weber
Thank You Bonnie for the courage to share your story and save lives!