An aneurysm survivor and an opera singer gave thanks to the people who saved her life by doing what she loves and knows best – singing.
Opera singer Louise Ryan returned to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi on 16th October to sing to hospital staff and patients as a way to say thank you.
Louise suffered a burst aneurysm on 28th February last year.
“I was at the gym with my husband and I suddenly felt this terrible pain from the top of my neck going up all the way to the front of my head,” she recounted.
“I could tell this was something serious: I felt nauseous and had a weird sensation all over the left side of my body.”
Louise went to a hospital and was transferred to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi where she was further assessed and treated.
“ Opera singer Louise was certainly one of the lucky ones, since around 15 percent of people who suffer a burst aneurysm pass away before reaching a hospital,” said Dr. Khalil Zahra, the hospital’s neuro-interventional surgeon.
“Although her aneurysm had burst, she arrived at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi awake and alert with no neurological deficit.
“After we stabilized her in our ICU, we were able to treat her using a minimally invasive, endo-vascular procedure before it could lead to further complications.”
Louise thankfully recovered, enough for her to return to her passion even performing as a mezzo soprano with the National Symphony Orchestra concert in Abu Dhabi.
“Since my stroke, I have a much deeper appreciation of life and of everything I’m able to do. I saw the piano in the lobby, and I thought it would be a beautiful way to say thank you,” reflected Louise.
“If you’re caring for people, the best thing you can see is them fully recovered and going back to doing something they love.”
Incidentally, Louise’s story came a few days before World Stroke Day observed on 29th October every year.
Louise’s case is called subarachnoid hemorrhage, a condition characterized by bleeding in the space that surrounds the brain.
Subarachnoid hemorrhages are responsible for around five percent of all strokes and around one in every four deaths caused by or related to strokes.
Its symptoms are:
- Stiff neck
- Slurred speech
- Depression, confusion, delirium, or apathy
- Impaired consciousness, sometimes loss of consciousness.
- Intra-ocular hemorrhage, or bleeding into the eyeball.
- Occasional difficulty lifting an eyelid
- Sharp rise in blood pressure
While causes and cases vary, there are ways to minimize the chances of suffering a stroke.
Just some of these include weight management, exercising more, quit smoking, getting enough sleep and minimizing stress.
If you have work stress, don’t forget to read our article ” Tips to help you to relax”.