TRENTON, N.J. – Brain aneurysms are not often spoken about, but approximately 40,000 people in the United States suffer from a rupture each year and they are fatal in almost half the cases. About 85 percent of brain aneurysms are not diagnosed until after they bleed.
An Assembly joint resolution (AJR149) from Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, and now signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy, designates September of each year as Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month in New Jersey.
Schepisi suffered and survived a potentially fatal brain aneurysm in 2015.
“I am so fortunate to be standing here today. Half the people with a ruptured aneurysm die. Out of the two-thirds who survive, most have lifelong deficits. Timing is crucial,” Schepisi (R-Bergen) told lawmakers in September from the Assembly floor.
She explained that there were symptoms she shouldn’t have ignored. She is an advocate now so that she can make more people aware of the signs and symptoms of brain aneurysms.
The most common signs and symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include: A sudden, severe headache often described as the “worst headache” ever experienced, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, seizure, a drooping eyelid, numbness of one side of the face, dilated pupil, loss of consciousness and/or confusion.
Schepisi hopes that by raising awareness of the condition, it will help save lives.
“I could have told you every symptom of cancer, heart disease, heart attacks and a whole host of other diseases,” said Schepisi. “I myself had no idea what a brain aneurysm even meant or what that meant for me.”