Story Of My Cousin, Lexilyn
1 November 2004
You're talking on the phone with your cousin in Las Vegas, discussing your summer plans, when suddenly you experience a sharp, tugging pain in your head. Not a headache, but rather severe, debilitating pain. You hang up, sensing something is amiss. After a few moments, you feel ill to your stomach and begin vomitting. You sit on a chair in your living room and try to "relax" away the pain, but it overpowers your fragile body. Finally, you call 911 and you're rushed to emergency.
Upon arrival at the ER, doctors order a CT Scan. It comes back negative. So, after hours of pain, the medications finally take effect and it subsides. You are sent home with some pain meds and a referral to a local neurologist for possible "ocular migraine". Back at home, the pain creeps back slowly, and now your vision blurs. Still not feeling right, your husband urges you to get some sleep to help you feel better. Finally, after hours of trying, you fall asleep. You never wake up.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention - you're 26 years old. That's right - not 65, not 80 - 26. The above is the heart wrenching story of my cousin, Lexilyn, who died last summer from a ruptured brain (berry) aneurysm. The events happened exactly as described. One day, she was the picture of health - the next, she was lying in a morgue. Her blood pressure normally was never over 135/80, though that night it reached 177/98 - a warning flag in itself.
At the hospital, Lexi was treated as a migraine patient. Let me tell you, I've had migraines, and anyone else who has knows that migraine pain does NOT hit you suddenly without warning. THIS IS A VERY BAD SIGN.
As of today, I'm launching a crusade against these silent killers. We fund for AIDS, cancer, diabetes - what about these obscure murderesses within our heads? They're overlooked not because they are RARE - this site is proof of that - but because they're often asymptomatic until they rupture, causing instant death in 50% of people. Here are some FACTS to consider: 45% of people with a burst aneurysm will die before ever reaching an ER. 15% more will die within coming months due to re-bleeds. 15% more will have serious disability, usually irreversible. That leaves a mere 25% chance of little to no defecits. Not a great odd.
I am 22, and next week I'm going to get an MRI/MRA to screen me for an aneurysm. Its important to know that age has nothing to do with this affliction - infact, most people I know who've had one have been UNDER the age of 55. Scary, huh?
Lexi left behind 2 girls and a caring husband, and many family members whom loved her endlessly. People: I'm not kidding. If you have ANY family history of these awful things, DEMAND YOU BE SCREENED. Risk factors include smoking, heavy drinking, high blood pressure (not controlled), and diets high in the "bad fats". No doctor can tell you no if you demand a test - it's your body, your life. Prior to her death, Lexi barely even got headaches. Things can change in the blink of an eye.
I encourage anyone reading this to WRITE YOUR SENATORS, and contact local Neurologists - these horrible things need to be unmasked for everyone to see - and to see their potential for mass destruction.
You may feel free to contact me anytime via email. I'd love to talk to anyone about this. Thank you for listening, and be safe. God Bless.
Discussion, comments, or questions: Joey Sala
© Copyright 2004 Joey Sala