HELP! New to AVM- Brother just had a bleed and I need to know what to expect

My Brother in-law is 60 and was just diagnosed with AVM. Two days ago he woke up complaining of a headache. My sister gave him some aspirin and they went on with their day.

That evening the pain got worse and my sister gave him another round of aspirin and then they went to bed. A couple of hours later he woke up in so much pain that it really scared my sister. She told him that she wanted to take him to the hospital but he was adamant that it was just a headache and that was all. I think he took some more aspirin and then fell back asleep.

An hour later he woke up wanting to throw up. My sister helped him to the bathroom but nothing really came up. So he laid back down and fell right back to sleep. Two hours later my sister tried to wake him up and he wasn’t responsive. 911 was called and within the hour he was at the hospital having brain surgery to control the bleeding.

They transferred him to UCSF and now we are waiting for him to have a second surgery that will “Glue” some of the leaks?? Anyway, he is sedated and hasn’t been conscious for two days now. What should we expect? Why isn’t he awake? Is this normal? If anyone could share their similar story, it would really be helpful to our worried family. We are prepared for the worse but hoping for the best. Thank you…

Suzanne and family

Suzanne: The ‘glue’ is a procedure called an embolization; I had three of them in Jan. March and June of this year. My bleed is a dural fistula which is a bleed outside the brain but it was bleeding into my brain so they had to stop the flow so they “glue” it with Onyx glue. The ‘gluing’ occludes the vessels so the bleed stop. Not actually sure if this is the case with your brother in law but this was it was with me. I am so sorry your family has to go through this… I know it is difficult I see it with my husband and children with me. Just be there and support him…that’s the best thing to do. He is blessed to have such a caring sister in law. What is he sedated with? Sometimes they can sedate you for medical reasons…what have the docs say. I will pray for you and your family. Be strong and keep the faith. What is his first name… I will pray for him at mass. If I can help in any other way with questions, just ask. Remember also each case is so individual as with me I had the embolizations (gluing) for three different reasons in my recovery. God bless xoxoxo Mare

Mare, thank you so much for you caring response, it is such a comfort to connect with people who have already been through it. I’m not sure what sort of sedation drugs they are keeping him on but he’s now in surgery as we speak. They said it would be 6 hours. Does that seem like a lot? His name is Henry by the way and he is the love of my sisters life. I am on the way to the hospital now so i will post more later. Thank you again.


well i can speck for my case , i don’t want to tell you this is what is going to happen cause everyone is different when i had my bleed i did not wake up right away but i did come in and out of consciousness just have lots of faith, when u are there talk to him tell him about his progress even if it is just that he had another operation cause that 1 more step to recovery now you must know that this is a long process for him i will have him in my prayers and please update us on his progress we all care here we are like a family that has been trough the same thing but taken different path to recovery good luck and be strong for your sister she will need you