Finn’s Aneurysm

“He’s perfect.”
Those were the last words Finn’s pediatrician said to us at an appointment less than 14 hours before an undiscovered aneurysm ruptured in our seemingly perfect 11-month-old baby boy’s brain. We left the pediatrician’s office that day confident in a teething diagnosis, but unbeknownst to us, that night I would put Finn to bed and utter the phrase “Sleep tight, mama loves you, goodnight,” to him for the very last time. Nothing would prepare us for the nightmare that was about to unfold.

Finn woke at 11:30pm crying. I went to him and picked him up from his crib. His cries continued, and his arms clutched around my neck. My attempt to calm him failed and Finn’s dada came to help. After his dada was unable to get Finn’s cries to stop, I took him once more and sat in his rocker with him. Finally, he calmed as he nursed and his body relaxed against me. Then suddenly, the screams started again and he tried in a frenzy to climb up my body. I stood and paced the room, desperate to stop his cries. He continued to cry and fight against me and then, without warning, my perfect baby boy went limp in my arms. The rest is a blur. I just remember reminding myself repeatedly, “He’s still breathing.”
911.
(He’s still breathing)
Ambulance. 

(He’s still breathing)
CT scan. 

(He’s still breathing)
Careflight. 

(He’s still breathing)
Nurses. 

(He’s still breathing)
Doctors.

 (He’s still breathing)
Bedside Surgery.

(He’s still breathing)
MRI.

 (He’s still breathing)

The neurosurgeons gathered around the screen and then turned to us in disbelief, as they explained Finn had suffered from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Something that they’d later describe as a 1 in 100 million event in a baby of his age.

While awaiting surgery, Finn’s aneurysm ruptured again and he was rushed into the OR as the surgeons made every attempt to save my baby’s life. But his perfect brain that helped him learn his wrist-flick wave, that helped him balance as he danced, that allowed him to say dada, that was under that perfectly red-tinted head of hair, that brain had gone without blood too long and our sweet boy, heart still beating strong and… still breathing … was brain dead. Finn’s heart along with his lungs and kidney went to others – an act we are tremendously proud of him for.

 


Finn’s aneurysm might be a 1 in 100 million chance occurrence for others, but for us, it was 1 in 1. Because of a brain aneurysm we didn’t even know existed, we will live the rest of our lives missing our Finn Benton. Brain aneurysms occur far too often for there to be so few indicators or means of prevention. I’m hopeful that the Bee Foundation will make strides so that far fewer families find themselves to be the 1 in a statistic.

Finn Benton is and will always be our sunshine. We carry him in our hearts and live knowing that every day is one day closer to him.

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