I was in Florida on vacation on August 6, 2001 when all of a sudden, while driving a car with a friend, I dropped a water bottle out of my left hand.
I stopped the car and pulled over, looked in the rear view mirror and the left side of my face was drooping. Not knowing what was going on, I attempted to get out of the car and I couldn't open the door with my left arm, so I used my right arm and hand to open the car door. I used my right leg to help me out of the car, then as I attempted to stand up, I immediately dropped to the ground.
My friend who was in the car with me helped me get into the passenger side. He drove me home, and again, as I tried to get up to go inside I fell to the ground. Laying flat on the ground, he and another friend who was at our place helped me into the house.
Upon arrival, they called an ambulance and they immediately diagnosed the issue as a "brain aneurysm". I had brain surgery in Florida to remove the blood, but the brain aneurysm was too deep and complex. Luckily, I had the travel insurance, which covered everything. Best $80 I ever spent! They sent a nurse from Montreal to accompany me back home.
The doctors concluded that I needed radiation therapy to shrink or seal the arteriovenous malformation (AVM). They gave me radiation treatment in April 2002.
On June 22, 2002, on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I was at a coffee shop in St. Leonard when all of a sudden I had the WORST headache imaginable, and the slightest sound was causing detrimental pain, and it was unbearable. My parents called the ambulance and they immediately drove me to the Royal Victoria Hospital. They put me on oxygen, performed a scan, and called in Dr. Rolando Del Maestro, at approximately 11 a.m. to operate. They finished operating at about 4 a.m. the next day.
Dr. Del Maestro was an amazing surgeon. He ignited hope. The entire staff was awesome and amazing. Each person I encountered there served a purpose, including Dr. Del Maestro who told me "all would be well in time". Love the man. He is an awesome human being and a FANTASTIC doctor.