This is a picture of my beautiful mother, June Hagan. She passed away from a sudden aneurysm on May, 19, 2002 just before her 59th birthday. It has been five months since she left to be with God in Heaven and there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her at least a thousand times. Her generosity and kindness to all who crossed her path was amazing. I am so proud to have been her daughter and best friend and to have been given the opportunity to show her how much I loved her and admired her during our life together. We had just celebrated a wonderful Mother's Day at her house with a Texas style BBQ and lots of laughing, hugging and expressions of love. I will forever remember that day. She was so healthy and happy after beating breast cancer the previous year and my family and I were so grateful to have her with us and to lose her a week later to an aneurysm was devastating. I know that she did not suffer and she is with her beloved mother now just as I will be with her someday too
Hi, My name is Vivi and after my mother died from an aneurysm I found this site and what a blessing it has been. It was May 16th of 2002 when it happened to my mother. My beautiful mom was only 58 and a few weeks from her birthday when she woke up with, yep, the ever so popular, "worst headache of her life". My step-dad of 27 years said she woke him up and told him that it felt like the top of her head was about to blow right off and her neck was very stiff. He began massaging her neck and asked if she wanted to go to the kitchen and sit down so he could get to her neck better. She said no, she wanted to try and lay down because she was seeing round, bright white spots. She tried to lay down and immediately sat back up in the bed at this time, her sweet labrador dog that she has had for a little over two years came to the edge of her side of the bed and made a wimper sound and barked. My mom said out loud, " even she knows something is wrong ". This made my dad get up and go call 911.
While he was on the phone with the operator he stepped back into the bedroom and my mom had slumped over and was making a loud snoring noise and was unable to move the left side of her body. He knew it was bad and told the 911 operator he had to go as she had just had a stroke. It was about ten minutes before the ambulance arrived and in that time she had began to vomit and well, you know the other. She was coherent enough to have my dad remove the soiled sheets around her. This didn't surprise me at all when he told me this as she was always very proper in that way.
The paramedics immediately prepared her for transportation to the Hospital as that is where my dad said to take her. He said he had to call his kids, me and my brother (like I said earlier, he is my step-dad by marriage but in our hearts he is our dad) and he would be right behind them in a few minutes. The next thing I am about to relay is the hardest phone call I have ever received.
I had gone out the night before with my boss to a Dwight Yoakum concert and had planned to take the next day off and sleep in. My dad called my work where he was told I was on vacation so he called me at home. The phone rang at 7:00 am and I thought why is work calling me, they know I am off today so I just let the answering machine pick it up. I heard my dad's voice on the machine saying something about my mom and immediately knew something was very wrong and grabbed the phone. I don't remember how the exact conversation went but he said mom was on her way to the hospital in an ambulance that had just left and he needed to hurry up. I asked him what was it and he hesitantly told me she had some sort of a stroke. My heart was beating out of my chest and I could hardly breathe. I told him I was on my way and jumped out of bed and got dressed and knew I had to get gas...oh, why didn't I stop last night on my way home is all I could think of as I frantically gathered my purse and keys. My boyfriend was so confused but I didn't have time to talk to him. I had to get to my mother.
When I arrived at the hospital I was escorted to the emergency room where I saw my dad and he was standing next to my mom in a bed where she was moving about kinda "wild like" trying to get out of the bed. I asked what was happening and the nurse said she was agitated and they were going to clean her up a bit and asked us to wait in the hallway. I could hear her talking to them in a slurred voice that didn't even sound like her but I knew she was okay and we would help her when she got home with whatever the stroke had done to her.
We went back in and stood next to her and she was resting from the shot they gave her. In just a matter of a few minutes she began moving her hand in which I had mine in and I couldn't get her to lay still. She than began making a very loud "old man snoring" noise and was very agitated. The nurse came by and I asked him again, what is wrong with her. Within a matter of seconds a whole bunch of nurses and the ER doctor moved her to a Crash 1 room, which was about 50 feet across the room. The next 30 or so minutes is kind of a blur to me still as I try to remember the events that took place.
The ER doctor said the CT scan showed a possible ruptured aneurysm and the neurologist was on his way in and would do a angiogram and surgery was very possible. We had to wait an hour for the room where the angiogram was to be performed as someone was getting a pace maker put in and they only had one room for this type of procedure. I couldn't help but think that this was so messed up. Only one room and it was in use. The angiogram was done and the neurologist came and told me (my dad was at the admittance desk with her insurance card) that it was very bad and she needed surgery right away and it was a 50/50 chance of survival.
I couldn't believe what he was saying. She just had a stroke, that was it. But it wasn't just a stroke, it was a very badly ruptured aneurysm. My dad walked up as I was breaking down and crying violently (I am a very strong person and don't break down easily in crisis situations) so my dad knew from my reaction it was bad. The neurologist was somewhat cold hearted and didn't really elaborate with my dad the way he did with me so I had to tell him the details which was not easy. We were escorted to the ICU waiting room and told it could be up to 5 hours for the surgery but they would keep us updated.
I finally got through to my brother, after leaving him several messages on his cell phone which he had on a charger and wasn't on for him to hear it ring. He was on his way, thank goodness. Several family members came up and we all just waited in the hallway till finally the doctor came and told us that she made it through the surgery but there was a lot of damage done to the brain and they "removed" the damaged parts.
Out of all the stories I have read and I think I have read them all, not once have I heard of anybody's damaged brain being removed. Guess that is something I will have to look into later. Anyway, she was in ICU and we could see her in about an hour but not to expect her to wake up till tomorrow morning at the earliest and she may not even be able to communicate with us or even see us. The next 24 hours were critical to her survival. My dad, brother and I went in to see her and it was horrible to see her with all the tubes and breathing machine and the bandage on her head but we all were thankful she was alive and talked to her (the nurses all said they believed people in coma's can hear so to keep talking to her) and we did.
The next morning we were hoping for some sign of life from her. She had not changed all night long and they did another CT scan and found more bleeding and we agreed to another surgery which was explained to us that we could leave her a vegetable (which is what they said she was) or try one more surgery to stop the bleeding. The surgery was over way too soon (about an hour) and we were shown her scans and that she had very little brain left as they removed more during this surgery. She would probably never wake up again is what we were told. This was 24 hours after she was admitted the morning before. We were told we would have to take it minute by minute and we did that for the next three days.
On Sunday morning after being told there was no chance of her ever being anything more than a vegetable on a breathing and feeding tube in a nursing home, we did what she requested (many times she told us to never allow her to be kept alive on artificial life support) we did the merciful thing and allowed her to enter into Heaven and into the arms of God.
Reading these stories has helped me immensely but writing this has helped even more. My mom was a very energetic, vital living human being and would never have wanted to live any other way. She had a green thumb most of us dream of having and could take pictures that would take your breath away (she was a photographer for many years) and she left us those images of her soul to live through. I miss her more than words can say as she was not only my mother but my very best friend. She was my dad's soul mate and my brother's Rock of Gibraltar and all of our's inspiration for life. She had a lot of faith in her God and believed that life doesn't end at death, you cross over to the other side to the waiting arms of your loved ones and continue on to the next phase of "whatever it is" that is next in your journey. Since her death I have adopted her beliefs as I want more than anything to be with her again someday.
Sorry, this was so long for a "aneurysm death" but once I got started it just felt so good to get it all out. For those of you that have survived or living with a survivor of aneurysm, be thankful you survived and are able to be with your loved ones. The "cold hearted" doctor we dealt with explained to us that out of 200 people who suffer aneurysm's only 100 make it to the hospital alive and 85 of those 100 don't make it out of the hospital which leaves 15 who do (7%) so there are a lot of lucky folks in this site who made it. By the way, my mom had just recovered from breast cancer and had her 6 month check up cancer free right before this happened. She kept a journal during her cancer ordeal and written on the front page was a note that said, "even those of us with cancer are not immune to death, it can strike anytime for any reason". I found this so hard to read but along with her faith in God she also believed the soul knows when your death is near. I wonder if she knew. She was so healthy and this helped her through her cancer survival. We spent a wonderful Mother's Day the Sunday before Thursday the 16th of May (when she had her aneurysm) and she made my Birthday the 6th of May very special. I am so thankful for those two special days to have had with her before she went to be with God.
God bless you all.
Update: 14 Jun 2003
It has been the hardest year of my life since losing my mother a year ago on May 19, 2002. I just wanted to express how much I have depended on this website in my healing process. All the emails and wonderful people that have sent kind words my way have been so helpful. I read all the updates and new narratives daily and pray for everyone. I just wanted to say, "Thank You" to this site and everyone in our blessed family for helping me get through the worst year of my life.
My Mom's 60th birthday would have been June 6th and on that day, I finally did something I always wanted to do (since I was a teenager) and got a tattoo...in her memory. She loved flowers and had a garden that would take your breath away. My tattoo has three red roses with "MOM" in it. Like most mothers, she was not wild about the idea of her "little girl" getting a tattoo but every time I look at it and how pretty it is, I know she sees it too and can understand that it is'nt just some form of rebellion but a true sentiment of how very much she means to me and always will.
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