A college senior from North Carolina suffered a brain hemorrhage while on spring break in Mexico, where she underwent emergency surgery to remove part of her skull before being flown back to the US.
Lisa Burke, a student at the University of Georgia, was on a trip to Cabo San Lucas with a group of friends when she complained of a headache at breakfast Friday, according to a GoFundMe page.
“She started to have a headache so she said, ‘I’m going to go back to the room to lay down and take some medicine,’” family friend Jennifer Ritter told WSB-TV.
“Her friends went back later to check on her and they couldn’t wake her up,” she said.
The Asheville native was rushed to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation, a tangle of blood vessels that irregularly connects arteries and veins, disrupting blood and oxygen flow.
Ritter, who organized the GoFundMe drive, told the news outlet that Burke apparently had the abnormality since birth.
Burke underwent emergency surgery to remove part of her skull and was placed on life support, WSB-TV reported.
With the help of the more than $138,000 raised, she was placed on a medical flight on Tuesday and returned to the US, where she was transported to Jacksonville, Florida, where her mother lives, and is being treated at the Mayo Clinic.
“The doctors there were so caring and really wanted to get her back to the states because they felt that is where she was going to have the best care,” mom Laura McKeithan told WSB-TV.
“Somehow, my friends were able to make enough calls and use the power of mamas to get her back,” she said, adding that her daughter has a long road ahead to recovery but has managed to squeeze her hand.
McKeithan said her daughter is breathing on her own but still uses a ventilator to keep her airway clear.
“(She is) nothing short of a miracle. We are told to take things one day at a time and not get our hopes too high, but to have plenty of hope,” the mom said.