Ryan Whithorn’s Story

My brain aneurysm story started on December 30, 2020. It was a normal morning during the Christmas/New Year’s season; my father and I were downstairs watching tv together, while my mother and sister were both in their rooms. It took no more than ten minutes of watching television for my sister to come downstairs calling for my father on behalf of my mother. I followed my father, a retired paramedic, up the stairs to see my mother laying on the bed, uncomfortable and complaining of a headache. My father had proceeded to ask the right questions and look for specific signs to try and identify the reason for my mom’s abnormal and sudden severe headache. While doing this, she had a syncopal episode. My father immediately asked me to call 911.

There had been nothing scarier in my life than having to witness this and call 911 for my own mother. After taking her to the hospital, she was released after a few hours and was advised to rest and take Tylenol for the pain.  Although we were all scared and worried, my mother seemed to progress throughout the remainder of the day. In fact, she seemed perfectly normal at times for the next few days. It came in waves. One moment she would be fine and the next she had a headache and needed to lay down. None of us knew what was wrong or what to do, other than the prescribed rest the hospital directed us to have her take.

On January 5, 2021, we took my mother to another hospital to see a doctor that could give us some more answers since my mom hadn’t rid herself of her headache. She passed all the tests with flying colors. When they took her back for a CT Scan, they discovered that she had a brain aneurysm and that she had been hemorrhaging the past week. They immediately rushed her to a nearby hospital that specializes in neurological/trauma. The doctors explained to us in more detail what was happening, and they confirmed that what they were about to do would fix the problem and allow us to have my mom start rehabilitation the following day. However, everytime the surgeon would take a step forward, it seemed that fate had my mother take two steps back. Throughout the surgery and recovery processes the night of the 5th and into the morning of the 6th, my mother continuously had setbacks. She had suffered two strokes and the brain aneurysm was too powerful to stop.

My mother, Laura Whithorn, succumbed to her brain aneurysm on January 6, 2021. By far, this has been the most difficult challenge I’ve been presented in my life and I’m learning how to overcome it day by day. Not a single day goes by where I do not miss her or think about her. My mother taught me that God’s will will be done. She was called home and I’m extremely proud of the life she led and for her to have her place in eternal peace with the Lord. My mother was a light to those that knew her, so I’ve made it my mission to be the same. My mother and father both sacrificed a lot for me to be successful. My mother wholeheartedly supported my baseball career. She loved watching me play. I remember the last time we played catch, the last game she was at, and all of her good luck texts and phone calls. I feel very fortunate to be able to pursue my dreams with her watching from above. Before this tragedy in my life occurred, I had zero knowledge on brain aneurysms, but now I know more about the signs and symptoms. I encourage everyone to get multiple check ups and to listen to their bodies. Human error is real and sometimes even the best of us miss the signs and symptoms. So, please educate yourself and spread awareness, so that we can save as many lives as possible. God Bless.