Ann’s neurosurgical miracle, surviving three life threatening injuries in one day.
One September day Ann set off in her car much like we all do every day. But this day did not turn out as planned for in Ann’s brain there was a silent killer waiting to go off.
Like a terrible movie scene her brain aneurysm burst whilst driving - causing a stroke - then a black out - her car became airborne - struck a parked car - a tree and finally landed in a garden.
It looked like another road fatality. Her family was told to prepare for the worst, that if Ann survived she would most likely never walk or speak again.
Ann’s story is unusual – a brain aneurysm, a stroke and road trauma – any of these can be fatal but Ann could almost be considered lucky - because she was taken straight to the Flinders Medical Centre where she was seen by the neurosurgeon on duty.
Her family were told that Ann had a catastrophic bleed from a burst cerebral aneurysm causing stroke and a massive blood clot. Despite early concerns, the aneurysm was “clipped” in three places as she underwent lifesaving neurosurgery within hours of the accident.
Knowledge and experience helped save Ann’s life. This knowledge is only possible because of years of neurosurgical research and training.
Ann survived not one but three life threatening conditions in one day. The odds were stacked against her. She beat these odds through swift and experienced medical attention.
- Aneurysms on brain arteries may rupture, causing brain haemorrhages in about 1 in 10,000 people. Many are fatal; approximately half of the patients survive. Successful neurosurgery within the first 72 hours produces good results. Research continues to look for more successful treatments and better outcomes.
- Nearly 60,000 people will suffer a stroke in Australia each year. That is 1 every 10 minutes and 1 in 5 people die immediately. There is no cure. Research is looking for a surgical cure so everyone can be saved.
- Drivers on South Australian roads kill one person every 2 to 3 days and injure 24 people each day. Traumatic Brain Injury is one of the largest causes of death on our roads. Brain swelling causes most of the deadly damage. Research is looking for a way to stop and control brain swelling after a head injury.
Not everyone is as lucky as Ann. Looking at the statistics more people would have died from this incident than survived. Please help us change these outcomes by contributing to research. It is through research that better life saving techniques can be developed and save more lives.
Ann and her family are extremely grateful for the consistent professional care she received. They are constantly impressed by the level of life saving services offered, from the ambulance team who were first on scene, to the lifesaving neurosurgical team who treated her stroke and aneurysm, and afterwards with the ongoing rehabilitation.
Against all odds Ann has made a 98% recovery and has had her driver’s licence reinstated eight months after her brush with death. She has now returned to work and is working in the NRF office two days a week.
Your support of neurosurgical research can help you or someone like Ann make the journey all the way home. To ensure the continued high level of services we ask you to please consider making a donation to neurosurgical research so we can help save more lives.