The Doctors: Runner Suffered Rare Brain Aneurysm & Survived

The Doctors: Woman Suffered Rare Brain Aneurysm

Robby and his wife Kathy have been married for 15 years and have 10-year-old twins. Kathy is only 4’11” but her friends like to call her “turbo chick” because she’s always full of energy. Robby and Kathy were visiting Southern California and Kathy was complaining about a headache when she suddenly collapsed. She began spasming and became unresponsive, so Robby called 911. Doctors began running tests but couldn’t find anything, so they explained to Robby that they believed it may be a behavioral issue. Robby got frustrated and angry, knowing that Kathy wouldn’t have collapsed just for attention.

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When doctors finally did a scan of Kathy’s brain, they discovered a bleed in Kathy’s brain and needed to relieve the pressure. A neurosurgeon relieved the pressure on Kathy’s brain, but she had a stroke and a heart attack, so doctors avoided any more invasive procedures. Kathy was unconscious and kept on life support. The doctors wanted to transfer Kathy to Keck Medicine of USC because they didn’t have the right machine they needed to monitor her.

The Doctors: Runner Suffered Rare Brain Aneurysm & Survived

A woman miraculously survived a rare brain aneurysm that could have quickly turned deadly, thanks to hard working specialists. (mikecogh / Flickr)

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Dr William J Mack at Keck explained that they identified an irregular aneurysm of an artery in the left side of Kathy’s brain. They had to create an artificial, secondary route of blood flow in order to allow Kathy’s brain proper blood supply. Dr Jonathan J. Russin explained that it was an unusual aneurysm and an unusual bypass, and only a few medical centers in the country perform the procedure.

The Doctors: Complex Brain Surgery For Rare Aneurysm

The Doctors were then joined by Dr Mack and Dr Russin, with Robby and his twins Tyler and Madison sitting in the audience. Dr Mack explained that only about 50% of the patients who have the type of aneurysm that Kathy did even make it to the hospital alive. Of those, 50% end up disabled. Kathy’s aneurysm happened to be extremely close to the brain stem, which meant it was in a “terrible location” and it had a very important blood vessel coming out of it. They had to perform a very complex procedure to even have a chance at treating the aneurysm without causing a bigger problem.

The Doctors: Woman Survived Rare Brain Aneurysm

Dr Travis Stork applauded Dr Mack and Dr Russin, recognizing them as true heroes, before welcoming Kathy to the show. Kathy smiled and shared how lucky she felt. She was an endurance athlete before she suffered the aneurysm, and remarkably, she just ran her tenth marathon days before the show was taped, just eleven months after her surgery! Dr Russin shared that Kathy asked them to run the last mile of the marathon with her, and joked that he was actually insulted! He wanted to be there for the whole thing, and said it was a unique experience, although he described it as painful. Kathy said it just goes to show the type of person he is.

Kathy is hoping to raise more awareness about brain aneurysms, and she certainly seems to be accomplishing that! Her family is beyond proud of her as well! As Dr Stork said, Kathy is yet another reason to believe in miracles!

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