Pictured: Annie Barnett, 21
A young woman who found out she had five aneurysms after going to bed with a headache miraculously survived after two suddenly exploded in her brain – and she’s scared! her whole family could be in the same condition.
Annie Barnett was tired when she finished her shift at the Woolworths deli near their home in Burpengary, north of Brisbane, on October 9th.
The 21-year-old, who also runs a social media marketing company, went to bed around 8 p.m. complaining of a headache but woke up about three hours later with “the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” said she Daily Mail Australia.
Paramedics were called when her younger brother Bernie, 19, found her crying, moaning, and crashing into walls as she tried to stumble down the hallway.
After a series of scans, her family received heartbreaking news that the otherwise healthy young woman had five bulging blood vessels in her brain – called aneurysms.
According to John Hopkins Medicine, less than two percent of the population have brain aneurysms and only 20 percent of these patients have more than one.
Annie Barnett (pictured) went to bed with a headache in October and woke up in excruciating pain
The young woman was still a semester away from college when she nearly died
Ms. Barnett was in agony when one of her five aneurysms burst, causing blood to seep into her brain.
Doctors tried unsuccessfully to stop the bleeding through a vein in her leg, but it ended Removing part of her skull to relieve pressure on her brain and complete the life-saving surgery.
“It was a terrible operation and the doctor came out and said she was sick,” said her father Greg Barnett.
“She was in an artificial coma and was ventilated, but they had to be woken every hour for about a week to ask her questions like,“ Where are you? What’s your name? ‘To see what her brain was doing.’
Pictured: Annie Barnett with friends in Queensland before being told she has five brain aneurysms
Doctors removed part of Annie Barnett’s skull to relieve pressure on her brain (pictured)
A week later, the 21-year-old was miraculously sitting in bed talking to her family with a large bandage over her head saying “no bone” to show where the piece of her skull was missing.
Experts said she exceeded her expectations in her recovery and a week later she was moved to her own room awaiting surgery to cut the four remaining aneurysms.
“A few days before she had surgery, a doctor told me that the likelihood of these aneurysms rupturing within the next decade was less than one percent,” said Barnett.
‘The second one broke later that night.’
Ms. Barnett said the moment it burst was terrifying because she was in excruciating pain again – just like the first time it burst.
Pictured: Annie with her parents Greg and Carol. The couple have two sons, Bernie (19) and Matthew (15)
Pictured: Annie Burnett with her brother Bernie (19), her mother Carol (54) and her father Greg (57).
Pictured: Annie with a friend in the hospital as she recovers from multiple brain surgeries
“I lost the feeling in my legs and felt like I couldn’t move,” she said.
“I was there about an hour and a half before about ten doctors rushed in.”
Her devastated family was told to say goodbye – “People don’t survive two ruptured aneurysms in two weeks,” her father said.
The young woman looked sickly and gray.
Her condition did not worsen for the next two weeks, she did not wake up, and the medical staff said it was very likely that she would likely be brain dead.
Then, in another tragic turn of events, her parents received a call from the hospital to say she had a stroke.
The 21-year-old (right) wants to finish her last semester at university and become a social media marketing manager
Annie Burnett’s parents said goodbye to their daughter (pictured right) after a stroke
“Nurses touched our shoulders and said they were sorry that there was no hope, but we kept saying that there was hope as long as she lived,” her father recalled.
“Even if she had severe brain damage, we said that’s okay – we’ll take care of her.”
Despite the dire prognosis, the young woman regained consciousness and slowly began to improve.
Within about two weeks, Ms. Barnett learned how to walk, speak and feed herself again and will soon be discharged from the hospital by mid-January when she returns to have her remaining three aneurysms cut off to keep them from rupturing.
As she looks forward to recovering and finishing her final semester at university, she fears that her entire family may live with undetected aneurysms.
“Chances are the aneurysms are genetic, so we all had MRIs Tuesday and are waiting for the results,” said Barnett.
The young woman is pleased that her three remaining brain aneurysms are cut off so that they do not burst
The 21-year-old (picture on the right) wants to raise awareness of brain aneurysms
To help the family with their living expenses while their daughter is in hospital, Mr Barnett’s sister has launched a “Go Fund Me” campaign.
The 21-year-old would like to continue working on her marketing business after her recovery and hopes to partner with Aneurysm Support Australia to raise awareness.
“I’ve met so many people who were like me and they didn’t know what it was, but most of them were around 40 or 50 – I was definitely the youngest,” she said.
“Most people don’t know it’s hereditary, and I think there should be more awareness.”