Jackie Miller James, a social media beauty influencer from Orange County, California, experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm just one week from the due date of her child’s birth, as announced via a GoFundMe account set up by her sisters.
James, 35, was discovered by her husband, who rushed her to the emergency room.
The influencer immediately had brain surgery and a C-section to deliver her baby.
Twelve days later, and after a total of five brain procedures, James remains in a medically induced coma, according to GoFundMe.
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“Jackie is expected to remain in the ICU for weeks and will continue to be hospitalized for months,” her sisters wrote.
“The baby girl remained in the NICU after 12 days due to the traumatic events of her birth.”
Since the incident, James’ husband and family have remained with her at the hospital, per GoFundMe.
There, “they are navigating taking care of a newborn in the ICU while fighting to keep Jackie alive.”
Fox News Digital reached out to the family for comment via the GoFundMe and Instagram accounts.
James’ sisters also noted that she is lucky to be alive, saying that “if Jackie and the baby arrived a few minutes later at the hospital, we likely would have lost both of them.”
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James has more than 52,000 followers on Instagram. She most recently posted photos on May 18, when she was 39 weeks pregnant.
She and her husband, Austin James, were married in California in April 2022 after meeting on a dating app, according to a post she shared on Instagram.
What to know about brain aneurysms
A brain aneurysm occurs when a “bulge or ballooning” forms at a weak spot in one of the blood vessels in the brain, which can look like “a berry hanging on a stem,” per the Mayo Clinic’s website.
If the aneurysm ruptures, it causes bleeding in the brain, also known as an intracranial hemorrhage.
About half of all ruptured aneurysms result in death, per the Cleveland Clinic.
They can also cause brain damage, seizures, coma and other conditions.
The primary symptom of a ruptured aneurysm is a “thunderclap” headache, which most people describe as “the worst headache of my life,” according to Cleveland Clinic.
Brain aneurysms are more common in women than men.
Other warning signs include nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, pain around the eye, seizures, vision disturbances, confusion, weakness, numbness and loss of consciousness.
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Certain inherited conditions that lead to weakened artery walls can increase the risk of brain aneurysms. Other risk factors include smoking, drug use, excessive alcohol use and high blood pressure, per Cleveland Clinic.
Aneurysms are most common between the ages of 30 and 60. Women are more prone to them than men.
Most unruptured aneurysms don’t cause symptoms and don’t require treatment. An aneurysm that is leaking or has burst requires emergency surgery.
What to know about brain aneurysms during pregnancy
For pregnant women, aneurysms have a high mortality rate for both mother and fetus, according to Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.
“A subarachnoid bleed (most likely from a pre-existing aneurysm) is five times more likely in pregnant women,” he told Fox News Digital.
Also called a subarachnoid hemorrhage, this type of bleeding occurs in the space below one of the thin membranes covering the brain.
High blood pressure — referred to as preeclampsia when it occurs during pregnancy — may also play a role, Dr. Siegel said.
This type of bleeding occurs in the space below one of the thin membranes covering the brain.
Preeclampsia has been shown to double women’s risk of stroke, per the American Heart Association (AHA), but a 2019 entry published in the AHA journal Hypertension stated that there is conflicting data “regarding whether pregnancy increases the risk of an aneurysm or AVM rupture, and no studies have evaluated the effect of preeclampsia on the risk of rupture.”
Other research, however, has linked pregnancy to a higher risk of intracranial bleeding from cerebral aneurysms.
A 2019 study published in the Turkish Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that “rupture of an intracranial aneurysm still remains the most common cause of subarachnoid hemorrhage during pregnancy … its prevalence is five times higher in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women.”
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Subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs more often in the last trimester of pregnancy, which “can lead to a fatal outcome in the mother and the fetus,” per the study findings.
“She is still likely not out of the woods,” Siegel said of James. “Mortality can occur after.”
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James’ sisters maintained a positive outlook, writing that “Jackie is continuing to fight for her life each day and we are optimistic she can beat the odds by surrounding her with the right specialists and methods of therapy.”
“We are committed to bringing Jackie home to her daughter and husband.”
“While the road will be long, we are committed to bringing Jackie home to her daughter and husband,” they added.
Actor Tom Sizemore died in March 2023 at age 61 after suffering from a brain aneurysm in mid-February that occurred as a result of a stroke.