WHEN mother Bridget Chiovari goes hiking with friends and their children, she doesn’t think about stopping to rest.
The 30-year-old took her 18-month-old daughter Liliana out of the brothel to get some rest and felt a stabbing sensation in her head.
Bridget, who was also 24 weeks pregnant with her second child at the time, felt severe dizziness and a terrible headache, but decided to walk home hoping the strange feeling would go away.
But that night her headache continued to get worse and the Arizona, USA mother said her husband Chris, 33, took her to the hospital.
She said she explained to the doctors there that she felt a headache and then experienced a terrible headache.
Bridget added: “I’d even say ‘I’ve never had a brain aneurysm before but I imagine this is what it feels like’.
“They hooked me up in an IV bag, gave me some Tylenol, told me it was dehydration, then sent me home to ‘get some sleep’.
“Within 12 minutes of leaving the hospital, I lost the ability to form speech.”
The family went back to the hospital again when her husband asked her to have a CT scan.
CT scans showed that Bridget did indeed have an arteriovenous malformation – a tangle of abnormal blood vessels that became so entangled that one side burst, causing a major stroke.
She was born with this condition and didn’t know it was there until it appeared.
“I had a ventriculostomy tube inserted into my skull,” says Bridget. This allows excess blood and fluid to leave your body while it waits for brain swelling. This is the part that saved my life. “
Bridget said she didn’t know what had happened to her was a stroke, until she joined a Facebook group of people who had gone through her condition.
Another member explained that a rupture is called a hemorrhagic stroke.
She said: “I was completely stoned by it. Before having a stroke, I thought that only old people had a stroke, and I also thought that a stroke is something that happens to your heart.. . not your brain.”
“I was very confused by the whole thing for a while.”
Bridget spent three weeks in the hospital and the fortunate bleeding site meant her mobility was not affected.
However, she continued to experience dizziness and nausea.
Bridget was pregnant at the time of the incident and another miracle her baby was fine and baby Roman was born on November 14 weighing 5lb and 14oz.
She said: “It certainly made me very uncomfortable for the rest of my pregnancy, but my baby was perfectly happy and healthy in my womb.
“All my doctors agreed that a natural birth shouldn’t be attempted, so I had to have a caesarean section at 37 weeks.”
Five years on, Bridget is still affected by the stroke and is receiving treatment to remove the rest of her AVM.
She said: “It affects me every day, in all sorts of ways. I still suffer from the side effects of brain injury, depression and PTSD doesn’t make it any easier.
“The rupture happened in my cerebellum, so my balance was affected. I get dizzy very easily and can’t always walk in a straight line.
“Tasks take more energy than before, and keeping up with my two kids is a constant battle.
“I really try not to focus on my deficits… because at this point.. I’ve learned what can affect a person’s mind.
What is an arterial malformation?
An arterial malformation (AVM) occurs when a group of blood vessels in your body form incorrectly.
In these malformations, arteries and veins are abnormally tangled and form direct connections, bypassing normal tissue.
This usually occurs during prenatal development or shortly thereafter.
Most people with AVM have no symptoms or problems at first.
Instead, the problem is discovered when healthcare providers treat another unrelated health concern.
Sometimes the rupture of one of the blood vessels in the AVM brings this problem to medical attention.
Most people who have an AVM will never have any problems.
If symptoms have not appeared by the time a person is 50 years old, they may never appear.
Women sometimes have symptoms due to the burden of pregnancy on the blood vessels.
However, nearly 12 percent of people with AVM have some symptoms.
No one knows why AVMs form. Some experts believe that the risk of developing AVM may be genetic.
AVMs can form anywhere in the body. Those that form in the brain or near the spinal cord, known as neural AVMs, are more likely to have long-term effects.
The biggest concern associated with AVMs is that they will cause uncontrolled bleeding, or hemorrhage.
Less than 4% of bleeding cases are caused by AVMs, but these can have serious, even fatal, effects.
Death as a direct result of AVM occurs in about one percent of people with AVM.
The source: Johns Hopkins Medicine
“However, I’ve also been privileged enough to see life from a very unique perspective. I see things differently, feel things more deeply, and live life every day with great intentions like this. so.”
Bridget received regular treatment but just a few months ago she was told that her AVM was gone.
She explains the final treatment she goes through is linear radiation, in which they have a plastic mask made to fit your face.
“Then they use this mask to glue your face to the table, so you can’t move your head. They shoot you with some kind of radiation, and over time, it’s obliterated,” says Bridget. AVM.
“They estimate it will take 1-2 years for radiation to remove my AVM. I will come in twice a year for scans and procedures to check its size.
“It took a little longer than expected, (3.5 years) but they finally announced that it was processed in November 2021.”
Now Bridget has shared her story on TikTok with a video that has received more than 1.2 million views.
Many followers have praised how strong she has been for continuing to work overtime after her pop experience, with many saying more awareness is needed about the condition.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/health/17239108/brain-pop-stroke-pick-up-daughter/ I felt my brain ‘POP’ and had a stroke after bending down to pick up my daughter