How did it happen? My brain aneurysm story: details unfolded Part 1

Since I have no idea how it happened. Here is the account of the details from my husband who was with me. This is absolutely crazy and it can happen to anybody at any time. The more information you know the better off you are to help someone caught in a similar situation (I hope you or your loved ones never have to go through this incident). However, knowledge is power.

His Story…

“The time was approximately 1 o’clock in the morning on the night of July 29th, early hours of July 30th.  You put on all the lights, woke me up and stated that you were experiencing a terrible headache with symptoms that made you feel like you were having a heart attack. In the rush of it all, you instructed me to give you an aspirin, one tablet of the labetalol, and grab the blood pressure machine to check your blood pressure. All that time, you were holding your head and complaining of the terrible pain.  I knew right away it was serious and I had to act immediately. Moving as fast as my legs could allow me, I grabbed the aspirin and gave it to you with a bottle of water. As soon as you took the medicine, you fell down on the floor still holding the bottle of water by your mouth. It was crazy! I put you in a sitting position and run downstairs to grab the blood pressure machine. As I was hurrying up back to the bedroom, I heard the baby screaming. I didn’t know what do. I wanted to go and get her but I wanted to attend to you. I made a split second decision to go in the bedroom, take your blood pressure and then checked on the baby moving as fast as I could. When I returned to the bedroom, you were still sitting down in the same position and still complaining of the terrible headache. I decided to go and get the baby so she wouldn’t wake up her brother and placed her on our bed. Before I could even get her comfortable, you fell over and started throwing up. The baby started screaming too. It was chaos and I had to make another split second decision. I decided to take the baby back to her room and placed her in the crib where I knew she would be safe even if she was crying. That would allow me time and concentration to take care of you. When I returned to the bedroom, you appeared unconscious. I was panicking and it hit me that I really didn’t have much time and I needed help. I tried to scream for help but I don’t know if the guard outside heard me. I wanted to make a call but I couldn’t locate my phone. Through all that confusion, I decided to focus on you. There was fluid and waste coming from almost all of your openings. There was blood, there was vomit, and there was feces. My heart was pounding, and you were dying right in front of me. All the training that I had in DC before we departed for Uganda started ringing in my head. I knew I had to keep your airway open while I waited and called for help. I cried to God for courage, begged him to save your life, and to guide me. I focused on keeping your airways open. You kept on throwing up but you were unconscious and I was afraid you might aspirate on the vomit and die. So, I kept you on your side with your head on my thighs and placed my fingers inside your mouth. It was a real struggle trying to keep your mouth open since you were biting your teeth together so hard. I still have a bruise on my hand from when you bit me while trying to keep your mouth open. Everything seemed to be happening so fast, it was worse than a horror movie. I begged you to hold on and help me fight for your life. You have always been strong in every way imaginable and I knew you had it in you even though you were not responding. With one hand still in your mouth, I managed to drag you along and grab the walkie talkie. I called post one and the marine corps on duty responded. I can’t recall the whole conversation but I know I kept on telling him that you were dying and I needed urgent help. He kept on telling me to do CPR and not to stop until help arrived. That kept me going until I heard a knock on the door. The Marine Corps told me that help had arrived and if the door was locked they could cut it down or I could run downstairs and open the door. I was left in a dilemma again. Cutting down, would take longer than necessary since it was a heavy duty door made out of wood and steel. So, I made a quick decision to run downstairs and open the door while I had you on your side with a piece of clothing in between your teeth. I hurried up to find you in the same position. The two security guards came up to get you and take you to the hospital. Everything was so quiet at that time, your respirations were down to less than 6 per minute, your eyes were rolled back, I was panicking but still very hopeful. The security guards thought you were dead already but I saw life in you. “Banange banange….madam is dead!” Screamed the guard on duty. He was crying but I stopped him and begged him to pray rather than cry. I told him you were still breathing just a little bit slow. We covered you in the blanket and carried you down to the security guard’s SUV. I requested our guard to watch the children while I went to the hospital with the other guard and organized for more help. I was worried about the children but I knew they will survive even if they cried and they would be more than happy to see you alive. I sat in the back of the SUV with your head on my laps. It was the longest ride of my life. My phone was ringing nonstop but I did not have the nerve to answer, I couldn’t talk, I didn’t know what to say, I kept on begging you to hang onto life, I kept on calling the name of God asking him to guide us, to keep you alive. Part of me was telling me that it was too late to save you and I should just accept that but another part of was telling me that you were going to be alright and I should keep the faith till we restore your life back. Your respirations were still so low, becoming less and less to probably less than 4 per minute, your eyes were still rolled back, you couldn’t respond to anything. I kept on telling the driver to go as fast as she could to the nearest hospital. She was communicating on the walkie talkie almost the entire time trying to organize the best hospital possible in Kampala to take me to. I heard her say that the nurse on duty had instructed her to go to International Hospital Kampala and she was making her way there.

Finally, we arrived at the Hospital. They put on you on the stretcher and wheeled you to the Emergency room. You were still non responsive at that time. The receptionist told me that they couldn’t see you until I paid an admission fee. I went to reach out for my wallet and then realized that I didn’t have it with me. Through all that hustle, I forgot my wallet in the house. I explained it to her but she insisted that it was the hospital policy. I begged, yelled, cried but all that didn’t make a difference. Luckily, I received a call from one of the embassy duty officers who had been in touch with the health unit nurse on duty and the Marine Corps who received my call for help. He told me that he had organized for help and someone from the embassy family was on her way to our house to stay with the kids and he was making his way to the hospital to assist as needed. He called to know if I needed anything from the house before he came to the hospital. I told him I needed my wallet to pay the admission fee so they could initiate treatment. Just as I was finishing up with him, the nurse from the embassy health unit arrived. I explained to her why they couldn’t see you and she immediately took charge. They took you to the ICU and told me, they would initiate care while I still waited for my wallet. As soon as we arrived in the ICU, the doctor evaluated you and ordered many diagnostic tests. While we were waiting in the hallway for one of the tests to be done, you opened your eyes and started talking. You were complaining of a really bad headache. I was so happy to see you awake and know that you were in the hospital. You asked me 7 questions: where you were, what time it was, was it daytime or night time, where were the kids, did the kids get something to eat….. You asked the same questions approximately every 10 minutes and I did not mind answering them at all, I was happy you were still alive. Sometimes I started answering the questions even before you asked because I had mastered them and was glad to be communicating to me. You did not remember anything else, you did not even remember the familial faces like that of the nurse from the health unit whom you had interacted with several times in the past. But I was glad you remembered who I was.

After the tests were done, the doctor came in to deliver the news of your diagnosis. He said that you had suffered a brain aneurysm. One had ruptured but there was still another small one unruptured. I asked him what they could do to save you and your chances of survival. He said that, he could perform a procedure to stop the bleeding but he did not have all the necessary equipment to do the procedure. He added that if the bleeding was not stopped, you might not last for 3days. Besides that, there was not another hospital within Kampala or anywhere in Uganda capable of handling your condition. Basically, the choice was to leave you there while they control the pain and let things turn out for the worst or transfer you to Nairobi, Kenya or South Africa for the treatment to be done. Even though the transfer was the best and only option, the biggest risk and threat was inability to tolerate altitude and increased air pressure which could increase the bleeding and/or cause the other aneurysm to burst which could turn out to be catastrophic. The debate began between the local medical provider and the regional medical provider to come up with the best plan possible. “

Father, let your Holy Spirit come down and take control over my life and in the lives of my brothers and sisters all over the world who need you right now in their lives. Let your living water pour over their souls and in every aspect of their lives. Let them witness your everlasting love and miraculous powers. We thank you Lord, we adore you King of Kings and we Praise your Holy name. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzxWhUv8dyg .

Part 11 to follow very soon.

5 thoughts on “How did it happen? My brain aneurysm story: details unfolded Part 1

  1. Woouh quote touching and encouraging. Good indeed is good and great,he does mighty miracles and whn he says yes Nobody can Say no. Hé Remains God in whatever the situation, and tells us to b still knowing that he is God. Amen amen may Gode ordained purpose Come to pass.Shalom.

    Liked by 1 person

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