Kati was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm on Monday August 24, 2020. She always complained of headaches but never thought it was serious enough. Finally, I told her to go in after saying she was nauseous and they were unbearable. After a day in the ER she called me crying saying they had found a brain aneurysm.
The next step was to set up an appointment to see what the proper actions were to be. We took it easy, not trying to stress her out and just relax for the time being. Her appointment was scheduled for Friday September 10th to see Neuro. She passed away suddenly on Saturday September 5th. The reason for all of the dates are because of how fast it happened but also how long in between when we found out and when she passed. I encourage anyone who has been told they have a brain aneurysm to push harder to get checked out or have action taken. We did not push hard enough and with Covid-19 it was hard enough to get our appointment scheduled. She didn’t even make it to her consult. Please do whatever you can to get the help you need to take care of the aneurysm.
Kati loved books. We had a library in our house and she loved to research everything. We started a Facebook account set up to raise money to build “little libraries” (book boxes) on a trail in our home town,
Manitowoc, WI. @BlackHeartBooks is the handle if you want to check it out. We have a GoFundMe set up for donations.
She also loved to travel. Before I met her I never left the state of WI. In the ten years we were together, we traveled all over the world. A few spots of note are, Iceland, Dublin, London, Paris, Vancouver, and 11 national parks. When I was asked before her funeral what her favorite vacation was, I answered, “the next one.” She couldn’t even finish the first vacation without planning where to go next. We had a goal to travel to all National Parks. A way we thought to honor Kati best, was to create two stickers. They can be found at @blackhearttraveler. The goal behind this is to buy the stickers and take a picture with it somewhere you have traveled and send a picture back to the handle. You can stick it anywhere in the world. We want to see how far we can reach and share Kati’s story. We will have a map created on the Instagram/Facebook accounts to show all of these pictures and places people have traveled to.
On March 23rd, 2021, the Black Heart Traveler (@blackhearttraveler) crew joined the virtual conference for Brain Aneurysm Advocacy Day with the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. We are represented the state of WI to better understand what we can do to get more research for aneurysms.
This is Kati’s story. She lives on with us through travel and through our love of life. If you have or have someone you love I urge you to push them or yourself to get the aneurysm fixed or take steps to help it. It can happen so fast and then they are gone. Thank you.