To the Editor:
On June 24, 2015 my daughter, Kimi, woke up with the worst headache of her 46 year old life. Later that morning she lost consciousness and fell.
As the headache continued to get worse she went to Ketchikan (Alaska) General Hospital where she was given an MRI and then medevac’d, by air, to Harborview Regional Trauma Center in Seattle.
Kimi had a brain aneurism. This type of aneurism is caused by heavy smoking, which may or may not include heavy drinking. The neurosurgeons said it was the largest brain aneurism they had seen in a long time.
After nine hours of surgery Kimi woke up and the first thing she wanted was a cigarette. She had no realization or understanding that this aneurism was the cause of her being medivac’d. In fact, Kimi was pulling out tubes trying to get up and get to her purse.
She was confrontational until the 4th day when the brain vasospasms and brain swelling started. From that point on it has been a dangerous situation, including many more surgeries. After 6 weeks in ICU she was transferred to a rehab facility where she can learn to walk and talk again. As of October 8 she is still in the rehab center. To this day Kimi still cannot separate fantasy from reality; she sees and hears things that are not there.
Thirty-three percent of patients die of the initial brain aneurism, 33 percent live with disabilities and 33 percent will survive without disabilities; we still do not know which category applies to Kimi.
If you or someone you know smokes, please ask them to stop and explain why. There are many products to help you quit smoking. It is not only lung cancer and breathing difficulties that result from smoking.
Denise (Niecey) Morgan-Olson