Well, this is exactly what happened to Barbara Mahoney one Monday morning, June 26th, 2017 to be exact. She woke up, enjoyed her morning coffee as most of us do, but from there her life would change dramatically & unexpectedly.
Barbara unexpectedly lost conciousness and when she awoke she called 911 and was brought to Putnam Hospital Center. At Putnam Hospital Center was where she would learn that her brain was bleeding and that she must be transferred to Vassar Brothers Medical Center in order to be cared for properly. Shortly after her arrival at Vassar Brothers Medical Center, it was determined that she had a brain AVM or brain arteriovenous malformation which is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain. Oftentimes, a brain AVM can go undetected until it ruptures and that is exactly what Barbara experienced on that life-altering Monday morning. Her brain was hemorrhaging and life, as she knew it, would be forever changed.
At Vassar Brothers Medical Center, her health began to decline at a rapid pace. Her heart was functioning at only 20%, she was hooked up to a machine to breathe for her. Just when one would think it could not get much worse, she developed hydrocephalus or fluid on her brain which resulted in a drain being placed into her skull to properly drain the fluid. Due to the acute nature of her condition, Vassar Brothers was unable to care for her the way in which she needed. She was transferred to New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center where a team of neurosurgeons headed by Dr. Robert Solomon took over her care.
Dr. Solomon wasted no time in trying to give Barbara her life back. He attempted to perform a surgery that would disable the AVM from rupturing again, but because of its location was unsuccessful. Barbara will now begin treatment using Gamme Knife Radiosurgery in order to treat the AVM and to prevent what has occurred already to happen again. Gamma Knife Radiosurgery is used in situations where the brain lesion cannot be reached by conventional surgical techniques and shoots precise beams of radiation to the otherwise unreachable area of the brain. This type of treatment, while proven effective, must occur slowly over time. Luckily, time is something that Barbara has been gifted because many people in her situation may not have survived such an ordeal, and this is just what she will have to do now; SURVIVE.
Survival for Barbara means that she will have to re-learn things that most take for granted. She will have to re-learn, for instance, how to walk. She will have to undergo intense physical therapy of about 15 hours per week to make this happen. She will eventually learn to drive again and to use her new body in ways that seem so simple to all of us. She will have to get used to the immense amount of medication she will now have to take. And she will have to cope with being cared for, around the clock, with her unexpected loss of independence. All the while, she will have to figure out how to keep up with the cost of all of this.
She will be unable to work for, at least, the foreseeable future. However, her medical bills won't stop coming.
For those of you who are blessed enough to know Barbara, you can't help but smile when you think about her. She is ALWAYS the life of the party and while this AVM rupture may slow her down for now, it will not change that. She is probably most known for her excellent dancing skills, especially to songs like Mr. Bojangles, and her insane singing skills often into an imaginary microphone. She can't find her way out of a wet paper bag 99.9% of the time, but because she is so loved, she has always had family and friends there to help her find her way. And this is what she needs now more than ever. As she finds her way through her new life, she needs us to help with the cost of the journey. Please consider helping. The smallest amount helps and if you can't contribute financially, please share this with your family and friends.
From Barbara's family, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
- Volz Auto Group Charity Vote
- Scott Ross
- Suzi Stehley-Gaita
- kathy briggs
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more