At just 35 years old, Maria Ross had a brain aneurysm — she had been ignoring the warning the headaches and wrote them off as stress.
She suffered paralysis, blindness and depression… and she was lucky it didn't kill her.
Maria also wrote a book called Rebooting My Brain, and it's meant for those out there who have had brain injuries.
Here's what she said:
"There are people in rehab who can never go back to their jobs again. Some can't speak or walk. I wrote the book for them. Its not a medical book, but I cite information and resources that worked for me. The biggest advice I give to people is get therapy. That's what helped me get into life again."
Aneurysms are super scary, too. They can happen without warning, and many people ignore the warnings if they show up. About one in 50 people in the U.S. have an unruptured brain aneurysm, according to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. About 30,000 of them suffer a rupture each year, nearly half of them fatal. An estimated 10 to 15 percent never make it to the hospital, and those who do can have permanent neurological damage or other disabilities.
Maria reveals how scary it was for her, despite having survived with super low chances:
"They told my husband, 'We saved her life,' but we had no idea I would be brain damaged, unable to walk or talk. Combine this with no short-term memory and a mix of ICU sedatives, and I actually do not recall the entire month of August 2008, except for snatches here and there."
One of the things that helped her the most, she confesses, was humor.
No matter how dark it was:
"We humans need to use humor to get us through the tough times. It lightens the load and clears our heads from the stress. There was some gallows humor in the ICU … A lot of people are afraid to laugh or smile in a dire situation, but you should embrace that."
And, she swears by rehab, even volunteering at where she was helped.
Always, always get checked out — her doctor wasn't able to catch it in time due to circumstances, but yours could!
[Image via AP Images.]