Be thankful for today, because in a blink of an eye your entire life can change – Unknown.

It’s May 31st, 2017.

I am on a plane back from Chile. I land in Des Moines when my phone goes off that I have a message from one of my friends in Los Angeles. It is a screen shot of a family member of mine on Facebook asking for “prayers” for their family – she is asking if everything was ok. I said, “oh I bet they mean the other side of the family, I haven’t heard anything”. I walk off the plane to find my step dad waiting at the bottom of the escalator. Surprised by this, I give him a hug and ask him what he is doing there. He says “well I wanted to give you a ride home.” I said, “oh, well that’s awfully nice of you, but I have my car across the street in the lot. I don’t need a ride home.” He replies back “would it be ok to leave it here?” I said “I mean… ya… but”, he cuts me off.

I can feel it. I can feel it in my bones something is wrong, I didn’t say another word. He looked at me as we got into his car and he said “Briana. Your brother (Adam) had a brain aneurysm this morning. He is being life-flighted to Iowa City. I am taking you to Iowa City. Do we need to get extra clothes for you at your house on the way?” “No, I’ll be fine.” I reply.

I did not understand the magnitude or severity of what had just happened. I spent the next two hours in complete shock with spurts of tears, silence, internal confusion and unknowing what had just happened. I kept saying to myself “aneurysm…? What? How? Why?” I knew that googling this was the worst thing I could have possibly done so I resisted and kept to focusing on the drive.

We make it to the hospital and there are already more people there than I had expected, when I am then pulled into a room with my parents. Both understanding the magnitude of what has happened, they can barely get words out. “It’s not good” my dad says. Me, still I shock, I am still so confused to what is happening. Nothing had settled yet. That day – May 31st, 2017 changed our lives forever.

By the grace of God I write this today and can happily say that Adam, against all odds survived that aneurysm. The road for him and to where he is today, was and is not an easy one. He is our miracle man and we are eternally grateful every single day that he is here with us and for those who have helped him along the way. He has a very long and tough road ahead of him, but this brother of mine is a fighter and is not giving up.  He attends a couple of hours a week of physical, speech, and occupational therapy and I am hopeful one day we will relive our days prior to this, where we are hanging out on his patio, having ridiculous conversations under the stars in all hours of the evening.

Life at times makes absolutely no sense, can be completely unfair, and this situation is no different.  Cherish those around you, support those you love fully no matter the cause, have compassion for those who are going through hard times, and try to remember that none of us are invincible nor are those around us, so don’t take life for granted.

Adam continues a daily fight to make progress in his recovery and is currently staying in a brain rehabilitation home 25 minutes from his twins, Aiden and Avery.

I love you Bro – Kid.

If you have any interest in donating to Adam, his family, and his continued recovery please mail donations to:
5625 Mills Civic Pkwy. #101
West Des Moines, IA 50266
Checks payable to #FinneganStrong

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