Avril’s brain aneurysm story

Avril passed away aged 59 on the 8th of September, 2022 due to a brain aneurysm – leaving a huge hole in her family.

The ‘loud and feisty’ mum-of-two had complained of a headache and began experiencing pins and needles in her arms
along with neck pain.

Avril initially attributed the symptoms to the after effects of dental work she had a few years prior, and assumed she was experiencing pain from a tooth that hadn’t been removed.

Avril called her GP and was given a phone appointment, where she was diagnosed with a tooth infection and given antibiotics.

The following week Avril collapsed at work with what her colleagues thought was a stroke.

When she was taken to hospital she was diagnosed with a bleed on the brain. While in hospital Avril experienced a second bleed on the brain.

She was transferred to The Walton Centre but Avril’s condition had deteriorated and her life support was withdrawn two days after she was admitted.

Avril’s niece Emma said: “I don’t think once growing up I’ve ever seen a sign or advert for a brain aneurysm. It makes no sense when there are signs and symptoms.

“Unfortunately this isn’t something one person can do. We need GPs to have more training.

“Earlier diagnosis can save a life.”

Emma is now calling for greater awareness of brain aneurysms among the general public and the medical community in order to spot the signs at an early stage.

She added: “In America, National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month is September and it’s a pretty big deal over there.

Symptoms and signs are all over the place. “I didn’t even know there were symptoms until after I lost a loved one.”

Avril’s story is one of the case studies in The Brain Charity’s report on the delayed diagnosis and misdiagnosis of neurological conditions. Read our It’s all in your head report here.