Sharon’s Story – Surviving a Brain Aneurysm & The Long Road to Recovery

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — It is estimated that one in every fifty people is living with a brain aneurysm. They can be silent killers, but Sharon Adams caught hers in the nick of time.

She remembers that day, January 8, 2014. Adams was at home in bed resting after a bout with the flu.

“I coughed really hard and heard something in the center of my head pop, and when it did I was paralyzed briefly on the left side, couldn’t move, couldn’t alert my husband of what was going on.”

Not 24 hours later, Adams was in a hospital bed after surgery on an aneurysm that ultimately could have taken her life.

“It could have popped, it could have ruptured at any moment,” she says.

  • An estimated 6 million people in the United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, or 1 in 50 people.
  • Ruptured brain aneurysms are fatal in about 40% of cases.
  • The annual rate of rupture is approximately 8 per 100,000 people or about 30,000 people in the United States suffer a ruptured brain aneurysm.
  • There is a brain aneurysm rupturing every 18 minutes.

Adams is thankful hers was caught in time, despite all of the challenges she faces: short-term memory loss, emotional issues, PTSD, even a heart attack from the stress of that moment that changed her life in a split second.

“I’m still recovering.  It’s basically a three to five year process. When you say I had an aneurysm,  no I still have an aneurysm,” Adams says. “It’s still in there. It’s coiled. I have to be checked once a year to make sure the coils are still intact.”

Adams knows others in the community are struggling too, so she founded an online support group called Brain Aneurysm and AVM Community Togetherness (ACT).

Members are distributing bracelets and working tirelessly to educate people on the signs.

“If you have the worst headache of your life, there’s something wrong and you need to get to the emergency room. Seconds count. Seconds count.”

We are extremely grateful for Sharon and her courage to share her story and help others.  To see an ABC News interview with Sharon Click Here

The mission of The Bee Foundation is to raise awareness of brain aneurysms, such as Sharon’s, and increase funding for innovative research that changes lives. We are building a robust and dynamic brain aneurysm research community with our Scientific Advisory Board, donors and network of researchers interested in grant funding to support meaningful research. Our community, anchored by our grant recipients, is committed to advancing brain aneurysm research.

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