"The doctors went from saying 'unusual' to 'remarkable' to 'this is a miracle."
|NEURO STORY: ELIN INORIO
A coyote had been lurking near the parking lot of the Naperville florist supplier where Elin Inorio works.
One November evening, the coyote was back, so Inorio accepted a co-worker's offer to walk her to her car.
She collapsed before she got there. Without any apparent warning, a blood vessel in the young woman's brain had ballooned and burst. Her co-worker was there to call 911.
At the Institute, doctors placed special coils into Inorio's ruptured brain aneurysm through the arteries, which causes a clot to form and prevents further bleeding. During recovery, she also underwent emergency angioplasty to stop "vasospasm," a devastating side effect from blood around the brain in which arteries in the brain are irritated by the surrounding blood and start to constrict. If left untreated, vasospasm will lead to a significant, if not life-ending stroke.
Inorio was released from the hospital three weeks later, in time to celebrate Christmas at home. By early March, she was back at work part-time.
Inorio believes the power of prayer, and the support of family, brought her through.
"The doctors went from saying 'this is unusual' to 'this is remarkable' to 'this is a miracle,'" she said.
There is no known way to prevent cerebral aneurysms, but they can be detected before they cause problems. Miller said 3 percent to 6 percent of the population has unruptured aneurysms in their brains. Only through incidental testing - such as a CT/CTA or MRI/MRA for suspected headaches - are the arterial bulges found and treated, if necessary.
Aneurysms also tend to run in families. Inorio's aunt suffered a brain aneurysm at age 19 that paralyzed the left side of her body. After Inorio's aneurysm, her mother, brother and sister were screened but given an all-clear.
"I'm constantly spreading the word in my family," Inorio said. "'You need to get tested. You need to get tested. It could save your life.'"
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