Local mother making 'miracle' comeback after surgery on aneurysm

April 23, 1999|By KATE COLEMAN

Lydia Hines was up late Tuesday, April 6. She was working on preparations for the mother-daughter banquet at her family's church, Emmanuel Baptist Temple in Hagerstown.

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"She's driven when it comes to the church," says Ken Hines, her husband.

She woke him at 4 a.m., Wednesday, telling him she felt that her head was splitting. She was seeing flashing lights, and her arm was really hurting her. Ken Hines called 911.

"Her blood pressure was sky high," Ken Hines says. She has a history of high blood pressure. He woke his 13-year-old son, Michael, to tell him what was going on so he could tell his younger siblings, Mark, 10, and Meredith, 5, if they woke.

At Washington County Hospital it was determined that Lydia Hines, 44, has two aneurysms - sacs formed by local enlargement of the weakened wall of a blood vessel - in her brain. The larger one was bleeding, causing pressure.


"Aneurysms can be devastating once they bleed," says Dr. John R. Caruso, a Hagerstown neurosurgeon. Lydia Hines had a bleeding aneurysm and a hypertensive crisis - her blood pressure was 230/125 when he saw her.

"She was very sick," he adds.

The location of the aneurysms near the brain stem also was dangerous, Caruso says.

By 11 that night, the decision was made to send Lydia Hines by Med-evac to University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. She was in surgery for 13 hours Friday morning.

Lydia Hines is doing well and expects to be home with her family soon. "We have so much to be thankful for," Ken Hines says. Had she been asleep, she wouldn't have known about her symptoms and would have died, Ken says. The family believes this was providential. Lydia Hines wants to serve the Lord, her husband says. Now she has more opportunity to do that.

Ken Hines operates Ministry Resource Center Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides services to independent fundamentalist churches, doing seminars, helping them improve their Sunday schools. He also has directed Emmanuel Baptist Temple's vacation Bible school.

The family has no health insurance. As of last week, University of Maryland hospital bills were about $56,000; Washington County Hospital's were $6,000 to $7,000. This doesn't include physician's fees, Ken Hines says.

Is Lydia Hines lucky to be alive? "Sure," Caruso says. When an aneurysm ruptures, sudden death results in 25 percent of the cases. A quarter of the people aren't eligible for surgery, and another 25 percent die despite surgery. The family is taking Lydia Hines' recovery day by day.

"It's a miracle," Ken Hines says.

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