Unresponsive: A brain aneurysm could have been fatal for Haydee Perez

Haydee Perez, neuro patient, Palmetto General Hospital

PGH_Haydee_Our StoriesIt was just a normal November morning when everything changed for Haydee Perez.

"After hearing a loud crash coming from my bathroom, my daughter, Marisol, forced the door open and found me passed out, shaking on the floor," Haydee says.

Her family called 911 and the ambulance arrived shortly after. The paramedics checked her vitals and said that everything seemed normal and there was no need to go to the hospital. The next day she drove herself to work as usual, but later that morning her manager found her unresponsive on the bathroom floor.

Someone called 911, and this time, Haydee was taken to Palmetto General Hospital. There, the neuroscience team discovered a large aneurysm had burst in her brain, causing a severe subarachnoid hemorrhage. That afternoon, interventional neurologist Dr. Ritesh Kaushal performed surgery on the aneurysm through a catheter in her leg.

Dr. Kaushal told Haydee that if the blood had flowed at a faster rate, she could have suffered a fatal stroke. A few weeks later, she underwent a second procedure to further repair the aneurysm. As a result, it stopped growing and the swelling in her brain went down.

A reason to celebrate

"Although I was in the hospital for two months, that didn't stop me and my family from celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s together," Haydee says. "We were all extremely thankful for the staff’s hospitality and constant support. Dr. Kaushal regularly updated us on my progress and even gave me his personal cell phone number so that I could speak with him whenever I needed."

Thanks to the excellent medical care Haydee received from Dr. Kaushal and the neuroscience team, she won't have to spend another holiday in the hospital.

"The best Christmas present I received last year was the gift of life," she says. "I treasure the family get-togethers during the holiday season where I get to play with my grandchildren and be with the people I love. As long as I have my family and a delicious bowl of sopa de pollo, life is good."