Dana Housley, 15, was playing in a softball tournament in Fontana, California, last weekend. She was up to bat in the last inning, looking happy and ready to hit it out of the park. Then suddenly, tragedy struck.
Her coach, Angelo Michaels, told KTLA what happened in the final moments before the star player collapsed, “She turned to look at me, which I thought was kinda odd in the middle of the pitch, and she said, ‘Coach Angelo, I feel dizzy.’ As she was walking toward me, her knees started to give way, and I caught her.”
She was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. She currently can’t breathe, and according to her GoFundMe page, there is no brain activity. The cause of the incident — a brain aneurysm.
Tragic, and shocking too, as we don’t usually think of brain aneurysms striking children. They’re not on my long, long list of ailments and tragedies that I worry about when it comes to my children. Or they weren’t.
There are so many things that could happen to our children that can keep parents awake at night, and it’s terrifying. Sometimes I see my daughter skipping down the street, and my heart is seized simultaneously with overwhelming love and happiness… and fear of what-ifs. I tell myself that worry is fruitless, to enjoy every second, but then there are stories like this, and it’s impossible to not let the worry creep into those seconds.
The good news is that when it comes to brain aneurysms, they are rare in children. According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, the reported prevalence of aneurysms in children under the age of 18 is between .5 and 4.6 percent. The foundation lists warning signs as a localized headache, dilated pupils, blurred or double vision, pain above and behind eye, weakness and numbness and difficulty speaking. They suggest seeing a doctor if any of these symptoms are present.