On Saturday April 20th, my partner Sidne and I set out to enjoy the weekend - hitting the road for an adventure with our beloved dogs Charlie and Sammy. We were on our way to Michigan City, Indiana to help Sidne’s parents, Dennis and Diana, cook up a storm for the Hirsch’s annual family Easter gathering like we always do.
We were just miles away from her parents’ house when Sidne felt a headache starting to creep up. Twenty minutes later, she was in an ambulance and unresponsive.
What started as an innocuous headache turned into a life altering event. Now her world is forever changed.
At just 34 years old, Sidne suffered a massive brain hemorrhage caused by arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a congenital tangle of abnormal blood vessels that connects arteries and veins in the brain. AVM affects less than 1% of the population. Of that 1%, only 2-4% of people experience a bleed.
Sidne was one of the rarest cases imaginable, and she had no idea. The CT scan in the emergency room showed bleeding on the right side of her brain, and she was helicoptered to Northwestern Hospital in Chicago. The ER doctors told Dennis and me that she might not survive the flight.
But just as Sidne’s case is rare, so too is her infectious and resolute spirit. Pulling through those first critical hours, she is a quiet and determined fighter and she’s beaten every odd.
In just the first few days, she made remarkable improvements. Sidne made it through surgery and was taken off the ventilator. She is talking and recognizing me, Dennis, Diana, and all her other loved ones. Her left side has been most impacted, which is even more difficult since she’s left-handed. The incredible team of nurses call her “strong and purposeful” which is no surprise to us.
But now, Sid needs your help. She faces a very long road ahead. Doctors are telling us recovery is a matter of months and years, not days and weeks.
Please make a donation now to support Sidne’s recovery. No matter the size, every dollar of your gift will directly support Sidne’s immense medical and rehabilitation costs.
As an independent contractor, she pays for her own insurance and has limited coverage. After she’s released from the Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit, she’ll be in the hospital for a few days longer before she goes to in-patient rehab for four weeks at a rate of $7,000 each day.
Sidne is a compassionate and caring young woman. Having traveled the world, she loves being with people, seeing things from a different perspective, and always keeps her mind open to the possibilities the world can hold.
Last weekend, Sidne and I were enjoying life like we always do - celebrating her best friend’s birthday and planning out our next adventure around the world. She went to dinners with friends, brunched, and shopped, enjoying the sunny Spring weather like every vivacious 34-year-old in Chicago.
Her world changed in just 20 minutes. We don’t know what the world will be like for her moving forward, but with your help, we can provide her the support she needs to overcome AVM and start this new chapter strong.
Thank you for taking 20 seconds today to make a donation to help give Sid the life-saving and life-changing care that she needs.