25
Mar
10

The Joe Niekro Foundation Hosts Brain Aneurysm Support Group

Everyone needs someone to talk to, or at least someone that will listen and relate.  Well that is what The Joe Niekro Foundation is doing.  It has been a goal of the foundation to establish an ongoing support group for people who have lost a friend or family member to an aneurysm, as well as an outreach for aneurysm survivors.  On May 19th, these people will have the chance to share their stories.  The Joe Niekro Foundation is holding a Brain Aneurysm Support Group so that men, women and children can come together in support of one another and share how their life has been effected by an aneurysm.  “This community outreach is an opportunity to not only bring awareness to The Joe Niekro Foundation, but to also let people know there is a foundation striving each and every day to help in the research, treatment and education of this silent killer,” states President of the foundation, Natalie Niekro.

We invite you to join us. Whether you want to share your story, or remain quiet, we welcome you to join us in this fight and know that by all of us coming together…we WILL make a difference and we WILL help one another.

May 19th

Banner Thunderbird Hospital – 5555 W. Thunderbird Rd., Glendale 85306

7-9P

Conference Room C – Lower Level – East Entrance

For more information, contact Natalie Niekro at nniekro@joeniekrofoundation.org

All are welcome!

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1 Response to “The Joe Niekro Foundation Hosts Brain Aneurysm Support Group”


  1. 1 Chris Coppens
    April 26, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Hi. My name is Chris and I’m writing to tell my story of how on April 12, 2003, my life was interrupted by something I had really never heard of.

    It was early in the morning of April 12, 2003 and my family had left for Las Vegas the day before to spend the weekend with friends of ours from Michigan. I head the newspaper hit the front porch around sunrise that Saturday morning and I was anxious to get an early start to the day because it was game 1 of the playoofs in hockey coming on T.V. around 10:00 a.m.

    Being from Detroit I was very anxious to see the Wings beat the Anaheim Ducks. Well, I proceeded to open the front door to retrieve my paper. As I did this, I noticed my friend Ryan going to his place. He and his family lived straight across from us.

    So I said what’s up and what was on his agenda so early in the morning. He had been with his daughter’s mom earlier that evening and was now coming home. He said he was hungry and going to eat breakfast. I reminded him that the hockey was coming on at 10:00 a.m., Detroit v. Ducks.

    I said come on over as I was going to make breakfast and I’d make some eggs, etc. So he came in and as we were conversing as to who was going to win the hockey game (he being from California and my being from Detroit). I finsihed cooking breakfast, handed him a plate and said, hey bro, do you want a vitamin with your breakfast? I opened the cupboard to get a vitamin and that’s when I collapsed.

    I guess I opened my eyes once I collapsed and as I looked up I saw my friend earing his egs and he said, Chris, are you alright? I wondered why he was saying this and that’s when I first realized I was on my back on our kitchen floor.

    The split second I grapsed that, this awful pain in my head took over. It was as if someone was hitting me in the head with a sledge hammer. I started to verbalize how bad ths pain was and somehow I managed to actually raise to my feet and while this pain continued so intensely. I got so nauseated and staggered to the kitchen sink. I stood slumped over, screaming with the pain of my head and needing to throw up but nothing was coming up.

    Then I instantly began to just oour sweat, as if someone turned on a faucet. Needless to say, I was in very bad shape. I just staggered through the kitchen to the front room fell on the couch and asked my friend Ryan, what’s happening to me? That’s when he said, I’m calling 911.

    They came and rushed me to Kaiser Permanente. I continued screaming from this monsterous pain in my head, as I’m taken to the emergency room. There they somehow communicated to me I needed to sign authorization for a spinal tap! Well, they don’t tell me why, but very scared I said I cna’t give you authorization from this. I’m thinking in my mind, spinal tap, those things are very touchy and besides, I have no family here. They are in Las Vegas.

    So they said we need to do this, not telling me why, so I asked they call my family in Las Vegas. They reached my family and they, in turn, told me I better allow them to do the spinal tap and that they’re on their way!

    They took me into a room, did the spinal tap, and looked at me and said you’re bleeding in your brain. You’ve got to go right into surgery. I replied not without my Bible and my family here. They knew I was serious so they obviously put me out and monitored me closely until my family arrived, with my Bible (true story).

    So I went into brain surgery where they did a procedure called coiling. They entered through the main artery starting at the groin and traveling up my side until finding the ruptured artery and repaired it with coils.

    I was in intensive care going in and out, in and out and I guess when they felt the time was right, they told me i had a brain aneurysm. They explained the vein that burst in my head was the biggest vein in your head. It was the right giant communicating aneurysm.

    When I left ICU and returned home, it took me some months to return close to myself. I have to say that the Lord is great, praise God. I know he had me in the palm of his hands the entire time; including sending (who I believe was my angel, my friend Ryan, who just happened to be walking outside my door at 5:00 a.m. that morning). In 12 years, I had never seen Ryan that early coming home after being out all night.

    I also have the best mon and sister a son or brother could ask for. They’ve always been there to help me, support and love me, even in the days when I probably didn’t deserve it.

    I love my family and my life and I do hope peple really know without the Lord, nothing is possible, but with him, everything is possible. This event was major and I’m living proof of his love and grace.

    I pray for Bret Michaels and his family and everyone and anyone who has been touched by this terrible ordeal and I know what they’re going through.


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