Luckily, I Survived!

After almost losing my life so unexpectedly 4 years ago, I feel like there’s a reason why I was given a second chance, and a part of that requires me to be a source of hope for others, to show them how the impossible can still happen even if you have to defy the odds. Mine is a story of overcoming insurmountable obstacles in order to reach full recovery. If you take away anything from my story, it’s how you’re absolutely blessed and that you should try not to take anything for granted because life is so precious!


Four and a half years ago I was a completely normal, healthy, independent 20-year-old. One night I was struck by a bad headache. My whole world turned upside down, and I passed out in 20 minutes. At the hospital, they told my parents that I had an AVM that ruptured on my cerebellum and that the bleed hit my brain stem. Doctors said my brain was at zero and they called the priest. Even though I survived the initial surgery, the ICU doctors didn’t have any hope in me and essentially labeled me a “lost cause.” The doctors gave my family the absolute worst outcome, but my parents never once gave up on me. They wanted me back no matter how I ended up, even if it wasn’t the same as before. I’m so beyond grateful for that because my parents were my voice when I was voiceless.
Everyone assumed that I would be highly brain damaged, and it was unknown what my future would look like if I did survive. My being in a coma, or having a brain injury in the first place was all the more unthinkable because I had never been sick before, never really went to the doctor. How could a seemingly, completely healthy girl be dying?  Luckily I wasn’t; I survived!


During the first year of recovery, I made the most progress. I had my injury in February, 2018, and I started to walk in December, 2018. I wasn’t expected to leave the ventilator, yet I went home Christmas Eve the year of my injury. I have never taken medication, and understanding the severity of my injury, it’s unbelievable to not need any. My memory is now 100%, and thankfully, I’m happier than I was before, regardless of my challenges.


Scientifically it’s unknown how I’m doing everything I’m doing, but my faith has never wavered. I had someone watching out for me then and now. Different opportunities have opened up for me, and they have each benefited my recovery. This journey has been incredibly difficult because I lost every single ability possible, the hardest being the inability to swallow even my saliva. However, I know that with determination I’ll be able to fully recover, something NO ONE anticipated! I feel so incredibly blessed, grateful and proud for how far I’ve come and how I defied the odds by recovering in such a short time! I push myself constantly to get my life back. I’m in no way done, but I’m working my way up the mountain and I know the view is going to be beautiful. Even if you’re faced with the most unfortunate circumstances, do all you can to persevere. Never lose hope because things can go so unexpectedly perfectly. ❤️🙏🏼


To learn more about Dana Alessia, click the photo below.