Single mom has part of her skull removed after ruptured brain aneurysm

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At 34 years old, Cynthia Martinez had it all. She had a healthy son, Bryce, loving family, friends she could count on, a home, and was a former beauty queen. But on November 9, 2018 that all changed.

While visiting a friend’s home she suddenly collapsed. Paramedics were called and Cynthia was rushed to the hospital where it was discovered that she had a ruptured brain aneurysm.

And that was only the beginning.

“I don’t remember my arrival at the hospital but from what I was told I was screaming of a terrible headache begging for ice,” Cynthia said. “Within a few hours I had a craniotomy to clip the aneurysm.”

The single mother began to recover, but within a month Cynthia suffered a stroke. Her brain began to swell and she had a lung infection, possibly due to blood she swallowed when she initially collapsed.

“I had gotten a blood infection and a kidney infection as well – I was just extremely sick and extremely weak at the time I was going into surgery – there were no guarantees.”

“My family was in absolute shock and disbelief that they went from, ‘Oh she’s going to be OK’ to, ‘Wait, what are her final wishes?’”

Eventually Cynthia was discharged from the hospital in the beginning of January, but over the course of the next several months she had to undergo several surgeries related to an infected bone flap.

In September she was fitted with a tissue expander.

Cynthia credits her recovery to prayer and the power of believing in miracles.

“We are all strong enough, we just don’t know it until we are pushed against the wall and forced to fight. Fight for our lives, fight for our recovery, fight for whatever it is that is important to us,” she said.

‘Miracles and the power of prayer are very real. Whether you believe they are from God, the Universe, any other higher being. It’s real.’ 

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Survivor Story: Cynthia I’m told it was a rainy, cold November night. On the menu were drinks, friends, fun and games. But all of a sudden the aneurysm I didn’t know I had ruptured. It tried to kill me, and it almost succeeded. My aneurysm was clipped that night, November 9, 2018. But it wasn’t done with me yet. A day or two after I came down with pneumonia, and a lung, kidney, and a blood infection. I also had a stroke and my brain began to swell. I needed a craniotomy to remove part of my skull. At this point, the doctor told my family that they didn’t know if I would make it through surgery. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, I woke up. My days at the hospital are hazy, but I was doing well. I had cranioplasty, to put my skull cap back. And after a month and 10 days of being in the hospital, I was sent to a rehabilitation center for two weeks to try to repair the damage that the stroke had done on my left side. I wish so very much, that I could say my story ends there. That life returned to normal and I was able to return to being a mom at full capacity to a five-year old little boy. But that’s not what happened. On February 14, 2018 I had another craniotomy to remove the skull part that they put in, back in December. It had become infected. Eleven months have passed since that night and, I am now going on surgery number seven for my third tissue expander – since there were complications with the first two. This September I will have my 8th surgery — a cranioplasty that will be the last piece of the puzzle – literally. Besides the many complications, I am fortunate to have excelled in Speech and Physical Therapy. Once again, I wish so very much that I could say my story of recovery will end there. But I have another small aneurysm that will need to be treated, and I am still continuing Orthopedic and Occupational Therapy. The aneurysm on that rainy November night didn’t know who it was dealing with, because this is MY journey to recovery and triumph. #Survivor #1in50 #SavingLives #ImprovingLives #BAF25 #AwarenessMatters

A post shared by Cynthia (@cynthiavm5) on

More than one year after the frightening scare, Cynthia says she has a large part of her life back and her road to recovery has led her to think about not only her future but her son’s future and what it might look like if she wasn’t around.

Dear moms, dads, and guardians, my plea to you is to be prepared. … Get yourself prepared! I used to think a Power of Attorney, and a Last Will and Testament were for people with estates and millions in their accounts. But I was wrong. They are, and should be, for everybody who wants to leave their family with the answers mine didn’t have.

This is an excellent reminder. It’s not something we think about, but everyone should consider speaking with a lawyer about a last will and testament.

Share Cynthia’s incredible road to recovery and her extremely important message!



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