For mother Brianna her journey into motherhood was fraught with complications following a life altering stroke which changed everything.

Her story is a testament to the power of love, resilience and hope.

At just 17 weeks pregnant, Brianna suffered a devastating stroke that required emergency surgery. Her arrival at the Royal Melbourne Hospital ED marked the beginning of a long and challenging road to recovery.

After experiencing a major brain haemorrhage, she was placed in an induced coma in our intensive care unit.

“My case was so rare, my bleed was so big, it would have been physically impossible to save me if I’d ended up anywhere other than the RMH,” Brianna said.

Once she was woken from the coma, she was in disbelief.

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“I would cry every day; I couldn’t accept that this was my life. How did this happen? Why me? Why now, when everything was going so well.”

Her daughter - who was still healthy and growing - was born via caesarean at 36 weeks.

They named her Mahali Audrey Marie in honour of her grandmothers.

But it was bittersweet for Brianna who was still missing part of her skull and needed more surgery, more rehab, more healing.

She spent the next 12 months at the RMH learning to sit up, swallow and eventually walk with a hiking pole.

Brianna knows she wouldn’t have survived such an enormous bleed without the care and expertise of our surgeons, nurses, therapists and cutting-edge technologies like our CT scanner that picked up a secondary stroke.

Brianna is the face of the this year's RMH tax appeal, run by the Royal Melbourne Hospital Foundation.

Please give generously during this time, so we can help more people like Brianna access the right support at the right time.

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Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
Media enquiries

We provide a media service from 6am to 10pm each day. Journalists are welcome to contact our media advisor on-call via the RMH Switchboard on (03) 9342 7000.

During business hours, journalists can email mh-communications@mh.org.au. We do not respond to emails outside business hours.

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Life’s unpredictable. Our response isn’t.

We urgently need to raise $2.5 million for a second CT scanner in our Emergency Department.

This is a vital piece of equipment that provides rapid and accurate diagnosis for trauma and stroke patients like Brianna.