Rene Longoria, an energetic and passionate 7th grade teacher, was on a Sunday bike ride when he heard a loud pop on the right side of his head, then he felt nothing at all. Rene had collapsed and lost consciousness when a fellow biker found him on the side of the road and contacted his brother and wife.
Veronica, Rene’s wife of 14 years, was beside herself with worry when she saw Rene writhing in pain in the hospital. After an MRI was performed, Rene’s aneurysm was found,revealing he had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. After a craniotomy procedure the following morning, Rene was put into a medically induced coma and on a ventilator because the doctors could not treat the aneurysm.
Almost one week later, Rene was taken off the ventilator only to have his surgeon discover his aneurysm had re-bled and would have to be repaired. Rene was referred to Ameer Hassan D.O., an endovascular neurologist at Valley Baptist Medical Hospital in Harlingen, Texas, for further treatment. Rene under went a coiling procedure and imaging tests as well as a cerebral angiogram which revealed that in additional to the ruptured aneurysm, Rene had a second potentially life-threatening, unruptured brain aneurysm.
Dr. Hassan recommended Rene undergo a minimally invasive procedure using the Pipeline™ embolization device to treat the unruptured aneurysm. Rene’s aneurysm was larger than average,and it was critical to treat it before it ruptured. Rene underwent the procedure in 2013, where the Pipeline™ device is implanted and diverts the blood flow away from the aneurysm neck, reconstructing the parent artery and restoring its natural course.1,2
After a month of intensive physical therapy and six months of outpatient therapy, Rene was finally able to return to work. Soon after, Rene realized he did not feel up to teaching at the capacity he had before his surgeries. He often felt unorganized and lacked his previous vigor. Rene’s wife Veronica recalls he struggled during that time, trying hard to find his identity when not teaching.
Since recovering, Rene has retired but helps keep his passion for history alive by volunteering twice a week at the local history museum. In addition to volunteering, Rene has picked up music again which he has enjoyed since childhood as a form of therapy, taking classes and practicing the guitar.
Today, Rene is above all else grateful to his medical team to whom he credits his life, and thankful for the time he was given to spend with loved ones. He hopes his story will encourage others to be screened for aneurysms if they are at risk and look into different treatment options available.
Becske T. et al., Pipeline for Uncoilable or Failed Aneurysms. Results from a Multicenter Clinical Trial. Radiology. Published online Feb 15, 2013
Kallmes, DF et al. International Retrospective Study of the Pipeline Embolization Device: A Multicenter Aneurysm Treatment Study, AJNR Published online, Oct 29, 2014