May 23, 1997 was a day that would change our family forever. That day was the beginning of the end of our mother's life. Judy Turner was an active 57 year old wife and mother. She worked as a nurse in the maternity ward of Gettysburg Hospital. She was a positive happy person and that day even more cheerful than normal. She made time to have lunch with my sister and then volunteered at her church. After volunteering she went out to have a coke with some friends at Wendy's. In the middle of the time she complained of a terrible pain in her head. She consented immediately to go to the hospital. By the time they got to the car she was unconscious and having trouble breathing. I am sure that she knew what was happening. Both her father and her brother had died from cerebral aneurysms.
My sister called me from work and I arrived at the hospital within an hour and a half. My sister had arrived shortly after my mother was received. What we saw was awful. Our mother was withering and posturing. No one could assure us it wasn't due to pain and they were giving her pain medication. They were preparing her to be life lined to the York Hospital Trauma Center.
Our brother flew in from Utah that night and for the next 12 days we spent most of our days at the Hospital. The staff was great. They treated her with dignity and compassion. They worked with our family dynamics and encouraged our involvement. She was in a drug induced coma and was experiencing vasospasms. The doctors kept us well informed and answered all of our questions. The full extent of her illness became clear on Monday June 2 when we found out the results of her Angiogram. She had 5 aneurysms, 3 in the front and 2 in the back.
She was to be moved to Johns Hopkins where they had more experience in this type of aneurysm. While no one can say if she could hear in the state she was in it was after this news that things took a turn for the worse. That night the doctor's called our step-father but somehow the information was not shared until the next morning. By the time we arrived at the hospital at 9:00 she had already died. It is still difficult for me to understand that a person can be fine one minute and on deaths door the next. She was a lovely lady - full of life and laughter. We miss her so much. The day after her aneurysm burst I received a card from her mailed the day before her aneurysm. Her words are a treasure from heaven. How I wish to hear her voice or see her smile.
My brother, sister and I all had MRAs as the family history was so great. Much to our surprise we all came out with no evidence of any cerebral aneurysms. We have been advised to have our children tested when they are in their late teens in case it skipped a generation. For the oldest grandchild that is a decade away for the youngest, who is only 1 year old, it is nearly two. How sad that he will not get to know his wonderful grandmother who was there assisting at his birth.
I am grateful for this site. It helped me through the worst of the distress and gave me information I could get no place else.