- Katie Taylor/Olivia H.
TLHF advocates for awareness and research funding.
September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month and the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation marks the month by continuing its mission to raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain aneurysm.
According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, each year, brain aneurysms cause nearly 500,000 deaths worldwide. Researchers estimate six million Americans have an unruptured brain aneurysm. The annual rate of ruptured aneurysms in the United States is about eight to 10 in every 100,000 people, or about 30,000 people a year. Every 18 minutes, a brain aneurysm ruptures. And when it does, death or lifelong disabilities often result.
“A ruptured brain aneurysm is a medical emergency that requires immediatetreatment,” said Olivia Hoblit, director of the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation in Fernandina Beach, Fla. “The accurate and early diagnosis of a ruptured brain aneurysm can greatly affect outcomes. Thanks to medical advancements, treatment for brain aneurysms is more promising today than it was just a few years ago.”
Survivors of a ruptured brain aneurysm often experience what they describe as “the worst headache ever.” A sudden, severe headache is a common warning sign that someone may be suffering a ruptured brain aneurysm. Other signs include dilated pupils, blurred vision, pain behind the eye, weakness and numbness, and difficulty speaking.
“Reducing the time between signs and symptoms and treatment saves lives and improves outcomes,” said Marilyn Pringles of South Florida who survived a ruptured brain aneurysm in 2016 while on vacation with her family in western North Carolina. In the weeks before vacation, Pringles, who was 44 at the time, began experiencing some symptoms, which she minimized due to the chronic pain she experiences from fibromyalgia. The symptoms included some numbness in her left arm, suddenly losing eyesight for a few seconds and then massive headaches. Despite the symptoms, she was determined to go on vacation. Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, Pringles collapsed and was airlifted to Asheville where doctors discovered a ruptured brain aneurysm. She underwent a coiling procedure to stop the rupture and had a shunt implanted to drain the fluid in her brain. After spending six weeks in the hospital – 17 days in which she was unresponsive in ICU – she was cleared to return home to Florida.
Back at work by the first of the year, Pringles thought she was on the road to recovery when in March 2017 she experienced an excruciating headache and was admitted to Memorial Hospital in South Florida. Unfortunately, the coiling procedure had not completely worked. But thanks to newer technology for treating brain aneurysm, Pringles underwent a minimally invasive procedure using a Pipeline™ Embolization Device that completely closed off the aneurysm. Today, Pringles is doing great and is fortunate that the area where her brain aneurysm was located does not cause many long-term physical issues.
“I am grateful for the work that The Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation is doing to increase public awareness of this devastating and often-fatal condition,” said Pringles. “Increasing awareness about the warning signs and providing research funding to aid in the development of new treatments saves lives and improves survivor outcomes.”
Aneurysm Risk Factors Sudden Warning Signs/Symptoms
Smoking Loss of consciousness
High blood pressure Confusion
Family history of brain aneurysm Seizure
Age over 40 Nausea and vomiting
Female Stiff neck
Person of color Sensitivity to light
Drug use (particularly cocaine) Numbness or weakness
Pain behind eye
About the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation
The Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation, founded in 2016, is a nonprofit organization located in Fernandina Beach, Fla. dedicated to raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of brain aneurysm. The organization also provides support and funding for neuroscience research for brain aneurysm with the goal of advancing treatment options and reducing the time between treatment and signs/symptoms to ensure better outcomes for those suffering a brain aneurysm. To learn more about brain aneurysm, the Trinity Love Hoblit Foundation and to donate, visit www.TrinityHoblit.org. A portion of all gifts will be matched by the Baptist Health Foundation in Jacksonville, Fla.