What 21-year-old pregnant woman thinks her brain will start bleeding unexpectedly?
Brenda Rodriguez was only five months pregnant when she suddenly lost consciousness.
Luckily, her sister was there to call 911. She was transported by ambulance
to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center (PVHMC), and, once in our Emergency
Department, the team discovered that she had a ruptured arteriovenous
malformation (AVM) on the right side of her brain. An AVM is a defect
of the body’s vascular system, an abnormal connection between arteries
As she found herself hospitalized, Brenda realized that in addition to
her OB/GYN, Dr. Cuellar, she now had a neurologist, neurosurgeon, interventional
neurologist and perinatologist, along with many skilled nurses and therapists,
caring for her. This comprehensive team had worked diligently to stabilize
her and her unborn baby.
Interventional neurologist, Dr. Sophia Janjua, recalls her care plan, “We
placed an external ventricular drain in her brain for the first several
days. That, along with excellent treatment in the ICU, allowed for her
Following six long weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation, which included
learning to walk again, she was finally able to return home and continue
her recovery before the birth of her baby.
A few of months later, on December 1, 2015, Brenda returned to PVHMC and
gave birth to Christopher Aiden Rodriguez – a healthy, seven pound
baby boy! In regards to the health care she received over the past months
of recovery, Brenda most prominently remembered the incredible support,
“When you think you are weak, they make you strong.”
Brenda’s perinatologist, Dr. M. Hellen Rodriguez, stated this about
Brenda’s ordeal, “I feel so privileged to have been a part
of this miracle. When I first met Brenda and her family, my foremost hope
was that she would survive. To have witnessed her full recovery and the
birth of her beautiful, healthy baby boy is just miraculous.”
PVHMC is proud to have such skilled professionals with the ability to come
together and work as a team to help Brenda through her major medical crisis.
We are overjoyed that she and her baby are now both healthy and home to
enjoy the upcoming holiday season.