I'm sending in my story in the hope that it may help someone and to show any interested reader that aneurysms are not just the domain of older people.
At the time of my first insult was settling into my second year of university in Dunedin, New Zealand where I was studying for a degree in Law and Commerce. The whole process began on the eighth of March 1998 when I was involved in a game of Rugby Union and proceeded to enter a tackle in an awkward manner. From this stage on I was troubled with severe back pains that dominated my life. I hardly slept over this period and visits to various doctors, both within and outside the main public hospital were enough to convince me that my ailments consisted of nothing more than a lumbar strain and a bout of the common cold.
Across this time I regularly exceeded the recommended dosage of painkillers and could often be found with a hot water bottle on my back to dull the constant throbbing.
On the second weekend after the initial injury I felt well enough to begin playing Rugby again and even involved myself in bit of surfing at the local beach. However as the week continued things got progressively worse to the point where I couldn't hold down any items of food or liquid that I attempted to digest. About 5:00 on Sunday 17 March , my roommates attempted to take me into hospital however I refused until shortly before 12:00 when I relented and was taken into the public hospital in Dunedin.
After spending four hours in the emergency room I was taken up to a medical ward with a suspected kidney infection, however the next morning I collapsed in a heap in the ward's corridor. Later that day I had my first operation which revealed a large false aneurysm from which a tiny hole leaked blood.
Twenty eight days later as I prepared to leave the intensive care until that was on the verge of becoming my second home the whole thing happened again and I faced another fifty grueling days on a ventilator. I finally got out of hospital upon the 29th of June after a total of 100 days and 4 operations and are still making a recovery as I write this in early November.
As to the obvious question of how this whole event occurred to a nineteen year old.The theory is based upon the following: Back in 1996 I was involved in a accident involving a sharp rock impacting the left side of my body while attempting a snowboarding jump, it is thought that this produced the original aneurysm. This was worsened by both the tackle itself and the staph infection that I suffered concurrent to the injury and the tear resulted.
I hope that this will help someone in the future and would like to say to anyone who is unfortunate to suffer an aneurysm in the future that the key to getting through it all is courage and determination, (in my case to beat the odds that my doctor, Andre Van Rij gave me before my operations.)
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