of Spring Township suffered a brain aneurysm seven years ago.She
wrote a book about her
recovery, is working on a second book and also is a volunteer at the Berks Visiting Nurse Association
Seven years ago, Holly Springer
, 59, was in a coma and not expected to recover.Today she
is a volunteer with the Berks Visiting Nurse Association
and has written a book about her
is working on a second book about the adjustments she's
had to make in her
Seven years ago, Holly Springer
, 59, of Spring Township suffered a grade five brain aneurysm.
For women between the ages of 45 and 60, artery walls tend to become thinner as a result of hormonal changes.Springer
doctors theorize it was congenital.
A former human resource manger for CNA Insurance, she
now spends much of her
time volunteering at the Berks Visiting Nurse Association
has also written a book, "Hello Tomorrow, I'm Still Here!"about her
experience and recovery.Springer
volunteer work and writing a form of therapy and a way for her
to cope with life almost seven years after her
Shortly after arriving at work on May 29, 2001, she
got a terrible headache and her
eyes were not focusing correctly, she
"I still remember walking into my co-worker's office and asking her
to call an ambulance because something was terribly wrong," Springer
After passing out at work, Springer
was transported by ambulance to the emergency room of Reading Hospital
.It was during this time that she
slipped into a coma.Later that evening, Springer was flown to Thomas Jefferson Hospital, Philadelphia, where doctors did not think she would survive the night, she said.
"A couple of days later, they (doctors) went in and tried to put a coil in the area of the aneurysm, but it kept coming out the wall of the artery," she
stabilized, doctors decided to operate to remove part of her
skull on the back of her
head.They also inserted a metal clip on the neck of the aneurysm to prevent it from happening again.
"I was expected to come out of the coma after the operation was done and drugs and anesthesia wore off," she
A couple of weeks passed and Springer
still had not come out of the coma.Her
family decided to take her
, Muhlenberg Township, where the coma team told them she
would not likely recover.
After much thought, Springer's family decided to remove her
At this point, Springer
was not able to talk, but she
could write and blink her
eyes.Because of the damage to the lower right side of her
brain and cerebellum, her
balance and ability to walk were impacted.Springer
finally arrived home on Oct. 14, 2001, after completing about six weeks of therapy at Reading Hospital's
continued with physical and speech therapy.By November, she
could walk without a walker.
"I really do have to remember when I have hardships to just relax and think about what the doctors said," she
said, also saying her
doctors still do not understand how she
survived and recovered from the aneurysm.Springer started volunteering at the Berks Visiting Nurse Association in September 2002.
In the beginning, she
only had enough stamina to volunteer four hours a week doing data entry.She
continues to volunteer about 10 hours per week, doing data entry and general office and clerical work.During flu season, Springer
spends up to 25 hours per week helping out at the BVNA flu clinic.
"Volunteering gave me the opportunity to do something I had lost," she
said."I lost my job, my skills and my self-esteem as a person."
Having kept a journal since returning home, she
began writing "Hello Tomorrow, I'm Still Here!"in the spring of 2005.Her
book was published in late November 2005 by the former ghostwriting firm, Empty Canoe
"I've always wanted to write," she
said of her
motivation to start the book."Another reason I wrote the book is to make me focus on something and accomplish a goal."Springer
is writing a second book about dealing with the adjustments in her
"I'm not going to let this take my life away from me," she