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A Doctor Thought She Was Suffering From A Migraine, But A Brain Scan Revealed Something Much Worse

A doctor thought she was suffering from a migraine but a brain scan revealed something much worse like many people in the world andy pullo suffered a few headaches when she was in her early teens and like many people in the world she didn’t seem to think that they were anything unusual however one day almost entirely out of the blue andy became catatonic and it would be months before she would become responsive again It all happened very suddenly one january evening back in 2011. on the way back home from swim practice andy complained that

she didn’t feel well shockingly though by the time she and her mom lin had arrived home andy couldn’t talk or walk Of course lynn immediately contacted her pediatrician at the time the doctor was confident that this was nothing more serious than a migraine but he referred andy to the hospital for a checkup nonetheless it was just as well too because that’s when they all learned that it was in fact something far more serious the tests concluded that andy had had a rare brain defect from birth and it was called an arterial venous malformation An avm in short this means that the veins and arteries in her brain were weakly connected and that january

night one of those connections ruptured in fact andy wasn’t just suffering from a migraine she was having a stroke at just 14 years of age i knew it was bad when i walked into the operating room her dad john told mct news service andy had been rushed into surgery so that the doctors could insert an external drain and remove the blood That was pooling between her brain and her skull being in that or room with andy being ventilated and all really hit me hard john added of course the procedure was necessary after all if left untreated the bleeding could have built up pressure that may have bruised the brain or worse caused another stroke one that might have permanently disabled or even killed andy but even with a rapid and successful Treatment the young teenager had years of recovery in front of her prior to the incident andy had been active in sports

and was at the top of her class in grades she was an 8th grader at Atlanta’s holy innocence episcopal school where she had attended since preschool and she loved swimming softball singing and shopping now however andy was fighting for her life after the blade was drained andy’s condition was monitored overnight then Two days later she was transferred to another hospital where she underwent surgery for six hours before spending more than a month in intensive care during all this time andy relied on doctors and machines for everything including helping her breathe indeed the injury left andy unable to move talk or eat on her own and while she did master

breathing on her own by April she would need years of physiotherapy for the rest of the activities that most people take For granted not only were her physical limitations holding andy back but her personality also seemed to have changed too in fact the once outgoing and friendly young lady suddenly didn’t seem to want anyone near her she was resisting anybody being in her space her dad told a shepherd center though progress was slow andy eventually was released from the hospital care to return home and continue physical therapy there but instead of getting Better andy only got worse so in June 2011 a hospital in Houston offered to treat andy

with behavioral therapy as well as the traditional rehab she’d been receiving for the next five months then andy’s parents would take turns visiting their daughter in Houston and looking after their seven-year-old son George then after trying their hand in Houston andy’s parents found out about even more specialized help in Boston so from April to June 2012 john and Lynn again took Turns commuting and andy received therapeutic treatments that included magnetic brain stimulation finally in June 2012 a year and a half after her stroke andy began to nod her head and respond vocally she wasn’t talking

or crying maybe screaming but no tears or facial expressions my said andy I’m just trying to figure out if you understand me what’s one plus one and she held up two fingers Lynn recalled the questions got Harder but the answers still came and so the long struggle to bring their daughter back began to show promise it wasn’t always easy but when the going was tough nurses reminded andy of her ultimate goal to return to school indeed andy had turned a corner her learning progress improved rapidly and she was able to return to school in the fall of 2013. fortunately, andy herself is no recollection of her illness or rehabilitation she told children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

I just felt like i had kind of been asleep um for a long time and then I woke up almost two and a half years later what’s more while andy was going through rehabilitation her friends wanted to do something to help her so they formed what they called andy’s army and attempted to raise money to help her family pay for her hospital bills today Though the goals of the group have changed it states that with the same steadfast resolve as andy the group works to identify and help families of children with non-traumatic brain injuries in need of financial assistance in fact andy’s army has as of 2016 raised around 1.3 million dollars through charity runs

bake sales and other fundraising events recently meanwhile andy herself was awarded recognition as one of four Atlanta Braves community heroes honorees her dad recalled doctors told us she’d never walk again or talk again or go to school again now she’s a straight student in fact andy is starting her senior year in high school and expects to go to college after a graduation a feat that seemed all but impossible just a few years ago.