Joe Biden

In 1988, Biden suffered with headaches, nausea, and increasingly severe neck pain for weeks, finally collapsing in a New York hotel room. He wrote in his autobiography “Promises to Keep” that it felt like “lightning flashing inside my head, a powerful electric surge—and then a rip of pain like I’d never felt before.” He was rushed to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center where doctors discovered a ruptured aneurysm. His condition was considered grave and a priest was called in to administer last rites. Fortunately, neurosurgeons were able to save Biden’s life by performing clipping surgery to correct an intracranial berry aneurysm that had begun leaking. Biden wrote: “As I heard it, my chances of surviving the surgery were certainly better than fiftyfifty, but the chances of waking up with serious deficits to my mental faculties were more significant.” Through screening, a second aneurysm was discovered a few months later and surgically clipped before it burst. Recovery kept Biden out of the Senate for seven months. Amazingly, Biden overcame two clipping surgeries requiring craniotomies, to go on to become a leader in the U.S. Senate for the next 20 years until he takes the oath of office as Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2009. He is a very lucky man to have had access to great medical care, to overcome the odds of surviving two brain surgeries, and to have made such a complete recovery. Joe Biden’s story illustrates for those of you who may be facing surgery for a brain aneurysm or are in recovery, it is important to remain hopeful about your recovery, continue challenging yourself every day, and keep your dreams alive

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