Aneurysm can strike all ages

Like any disease, aneurysms can afflict any one, any time. And while it’s true that brain aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 – 60, there are those rare instances where the numbers lie.

That was true earlier this year, when an Ottawa mother experienced the fear of almost losing her son to a massive stroke following a ruptured aneurysm.

Shelley Black remembers walking her son, Anderson, to his elementary school classroom when, in an instant, the unknown aneurysm in Anderson’s head ruptured, causing the stroke. By the time the two were headed to the hospital in the ambulance, Shelley recalls, “[Anderson] was screaming the most horrific screams.”

At Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, surgeons performed a surgical clipping, clamping the ruptured artery after removing part of his skull to accommodate his swelling brain. After 12 days in a medically-induced coma, Anderson awoke with some cognitive and physical symptoms, including limited paralysis and speech problems.

While there are a number of risk factors that are potentially present at birth, like most other cases, there’s no way to truly know what caused his episode.

In the weeks since, he has “exceeded doctor’s expectation;” however, the road to recovery is long. He continues to require extensive therapy. The family is taking donations to support his ongoing recovery. Here is a slideshow Shelley has put together, and for more information on how to help visit the website