Have you ever imagined that a headache you’ve been ignoring since forever, might wind up putting you in coma for a long, long time? How long? How about nearly two and half years? No, right? Well that’s exactly what 14-year-old Andee Poulos and her parents thought too. They never imagined their daughter’s frequent headaches would lead to this. As frequent as the painful episodes were, they seemed nothing out of the ordinary. So they never considered taking any action like going to see a doctor.Things were going just normal and Andee was up to her usual routine when one day in 2011, she came out of swimming practice complaining about a particularly severe headache. When nothing seemed to make her feel better, she was sent home. On her way back, she became almost unresponsive. That’s when everyone began to worry. They were scared and terrified that something was extremely wrong with Andee. Trembling, Andee’s mother called a pediatrician, who announced that it seemed nothing more than a migraine, but still suggested that they should get it checked.
Andee was then taken to a local hospital. After a few CT scans and a couple of other tests, their world fell apart. The problem was far more severe than they had anticipated. Andee was suffering from a rare brain injury called Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). They were in a state of shock; never had it once occurred to them that ignoring a minor headache could put their daughter’s life at risk.
The doctors put an external drain into her head to relieve the pressure. Andee was then put in a drug induced coma. She spent almost 7 hours in surgery but thankfully, it was all worth the effort. The move worked and her life was saved. Months later, Andee began the long journey towards her recovery. It was an extremely daunting process but she was very brave. She overcame every obstacle with a smile and never once did she back out or got tired of her treatment. She also attended three hours of O.T. and P.T. everyday.
The doctors then put an external drain into her head to relieve the pressure. Andee was put in a drug induced coma. She spent almost 7 hours in surgery but thankfully, it was all worth the effort. The move worked and her life was saved. Months later, Andee began the long journey to her recovery. It was an extremely daunting process but she stood brave. She overcame every obstacle with a smile and never once did she back out or got tired of all those therapies, she also attended three hours of O.T. and P.T. everyday.
Unlike others in her situation, Andee is taking everything coming her way with an open heart and a big smile. She has shown the determination and willpower that even people twice her age fail to demonstrate. Her parents are extremely proud of her and salute her spirit and so does everyone else. This miraculous teen decided to focus on improving her health and body day by day. She stood tough and took everything upon her herself with open arms.
She is currently a college-bound senior at Holy Innocents Episcopal School. She’s also a huge source of motivation for many. She didn’t let her disability bring her down and now she leads the Holy Innocents’ Softball team. She has also been recently honored with an Atlanta Hero award by the Atlanta Braves. Being the star that she is, she took this opportunity to show her determination and strength. She went on stage to take the award without her cane even though she faced a little difficulty walking without it.
Let this story be a lesson and inspiration to everybody. It’s a lesson that you should never ever ignore or let anybody else ignore minor aches and pains, especially when it comes to headaches.