NEW YORK -- Christina Lehmejian-Karaszewski, of New Jersey, was pregnant with her second child when she first had trouble swallowing. Then after she gave birth to Ines, more issues -- headaches and vision problems.
Doctors at her local hospital sent her home, but she insisted on an MRI. It turns out, she had a giant aneurysm pushing on her brain stem.
In an effort to save her life, Dr. Peter Nelson, a neurointerventionalist at NYU Langone, used a medical device that he created.
It's known as a flow diverter. It goes into the artery where the aneurysm is and diverts blood away from the ballooning area so that it doesn't burst.
The device is tiny, made of 48 strands thinner than a human hair.
"It's very flexible, and that's critical because the blood vessels in the brain typically tend to be a little twisty," Dr. Nelson said.
Now thousands of people have had these devices implanted. The hope is that people pay attention to the signs of a brain aneurysm, which can include sudden and severe headaches, nausea, blurred or double vision.
WABC-TV reporter Lisa Colagrossi died suddenly in 2015 from a brain aneurysm, and her husband Todd Crawford created the Lisa Colagrossi foundation to raise awareness and save lives. Click here to learn more.