Long Island woman has new lease on life after surviving 3 brain aneurysms

BAY SHORE, Suffolk County (WABC) -- A Long Island mother survived three brain aneurysms and two surgeries, and now, she's sharing her story.

Judy Tedesco, of Yaphank, is a busy woman as the mother of 17-year-old triplets. The 52-year-old sought help from her doctor after experiencing eye swelling and headaches.

"It was divine intervention is what it was," she said.

The swelling under her eye back in January helped doctors stumble upon not one, or two, but three brain aneurysms unrelated to her symptoms.

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"They gave me a CT scan, and I was waiting in the hallway," she said. "And the guy goes, 'You have three brain aneurysms, we're transporting you right now to South Shore Hospital.'"

Her doctors tackled the problem from two different fronts, first in January with microsurgery, clipping two of them on the right side.

"We said, 'Let's get them before they get up,'" said Dr. David Chalif, chair of South Shore Neurosurgery.

Then, in April, they obstructed the aneurysm on the left with a tiny mesh device inserted through a catheter.

"This device can be used with either ruptured or un-ruptured aneurysms," endovascular neurologist Dr. Ina Teron Molina said.

Doctors say that 35,000 to 40,000 people in the US rupture brain aneurysms each year, and as many as 30% of them die instantly.

It is a tragedy that hits close to home for us at Eyewitness News, after reporter and friend Lisa Colagrossi, died from an aneurysm six years ago. Her family, through the Lisa Foundation, is trying hard to educate the public.

The risk of rupture increases with age, and women over 50 have double the risk of men. Warning signs include sudden headache and blurred vision.

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A group of hundreds of students and community members surprised a solider with a welcome home celebration after he recently returned from deployment.

But for Tedesco, who likes to joke that she named each aneurysm after one of her triplets, she wasn't ready to go.

"There's more for me to do, apparently, on this earth," she said.

Now, six months later, Tedesco is fully healed from her surgeries and says keeping up with her triplets and running her dog grooming business are pure pleasures now that she is living free of pain and fear.

And thanks to her doctors, she now has the time -- and a new lease on life.

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