Some people seem to have all the luck. They’re the ones with the winning raffle tickets, and their names get pulled out of the hat first. Some people are lucky in love, while others are lucky in looks.
But lately I’ve been wondering about bigger things, and if luck has anything to do with it. Brooke had a brain aneurysm. That’s bad luck. And although statistics say it’s likely that one in fifty people have an aneurysm, most of them don’t burst. Double bad luck. On top of that, brainstem aneurysms, where Brooke’s was, are typically not survivable. Triple bad luck.
So why did Brooke have such bad luck? I have no idea. But even Brooke would laugh at how she never won anything. In board games, random drawings…that type of thing. I have bad luck too, so we laughed it off together. I guess, in a way, we still share that bad luck. I lost my daughter, she lost her life.
There are things in this world we can change, and things we simply cannot. We never, ever could have known that Brooke had a brain aneurysm. While some aneurysms have symptoms, Brooke’s had none. We also have no family history of aneurysms or stroke. Doctors tell us it was likely congenital, meaning she was born with it, and that we were lucky to have her as long as we did. She was also a perfectly healthy child right up to the unexpected burst. In the past ten months I’ve connected with other parents who have lost children to brain aneurysms and AVMs (a similar vascular disease). Some children are the same age as Brooke, some are younger. My heart breaks for them all, and when I talk to a mom who lost her child at a younger age than Brooke, I feel lucky.
I also feel lucky that, of all the daughters in the world, I got Brooke. Because Brooke was the best daughter a mother could have. I just wish I had been lucky enough to have her longer.
September is Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month. October is AVM Awareness Month. If you have a family history of aneurysm, AVM or stroke, talk to your doctor to find out how you can screen yourself and your family for this disease. You can also visit http://www.taafonline.org/ to learn more.
Luck, or lack of it, had everything to do with why we lost Brooke. But some aneurysms and AVMs are treatable. And by raising awareness, it is my hope that those with this disease are lucky enough to be in the care of a well-informed medical community.