Mia Potamianos and Jenna Vespi
Editors of Promotion
According to the Brain Aneurysm Foundation, every 18 minutes a brain aneurysm ruptures; 40 percent of those that rupture are fatal. This past summer, Jamesville-DeWitt High School Spanish teacher María De Jesús survived a brain aneurysm. Recovery from such an injury is a long, strenuous process, but Señora De Jesús is moving quickly on the road to recovery.
What should’ve been a normal summer day, quickly turned into a life threatening situation. In the wall of Señora De Jesús’ brain, a weak blood vessel took on a balloon-like form and filled with blood, causing an aneurysm. Next, the aneurysm ruptured and caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which caused her to suddenly fall to the ground in the middle of Target. “I'm so grateful that I was in a public location and that my children were not with me,” said Señora De Jesús. When she fell, there were two nurses that happened to be in the store. Fortunately, they were able to assist her until paramedics were able to transport her to a hospital, where she received immediate brain surgery.
Through the many doctor visits and physical therapy sessions, Señora De Jesús said that her recovery is going slowly, but is a “miraculous one.” It is miraculous in the fact that she is a survivor of a usually fatal incident, and slow in the sense that she is still suffering from many complications. Señora De Jesús is suffering from photophobia, a sensitivity to light, and phonophobia, a sensitivity to sound. In addition, she said she is suffering from “a lot of other vestibular complications.” Vestibular relates to her inner ear and regulates balance. “I'm very grateful and fortunate to be alive, (even if) my recovery from the rupture is very slow,” said Señora De Jesús.
J-DHS faculty has missed having her bright personality around for the start of the school year, just as much as she has missed them. Spanish teacher Simone Pacilio, who has grown very close with Señora De Jesús over their years of teaching together, said, “I miss my best friend. I miss her terribly. I miss bouncing ideas off of her. I miss laughing with her. I miss looking at her high heel shoes and wondering how someone could wear them all day.” Señora Pacilio first heard of Señora De Jesús’s injury from Señora De Jesús’s husband. “(I was initially in) shock and fear,” said Señora Pacilio. Expecting the worst, Señora Pacilio said “I didn't know what I was gonna see in the hospital.” Now, Señora Pacilio visits Señora De Jesús very frequently, usually at least once a week.
J-DHS Principal Paul Gasparini said that after finding out the news his “first concern was her health, safety, welfare, and her family.” Mr. Gasparini knows there is a long recovery in store, but wishes for all to go well.
“She was a very nice teacher, the best Spanish teacher I’ve had at J-DHS, and I feel bad for the (students) that didn’t get to have her this year,” said junior Markos Petkopoulos. Another former student of hers, junior Ashley Saule said, “Señora De Jesús is a very good teacher and has the best teaching methods.” Saule said Señora De Jesús “makes learning fun.”
Recently, junior Kasey Vaughan’s mother had a brain aneurysm and is now on her road to recovery. After hearing of the news, Señora De Jesús has been reaching out to Vaughan to help her through her tough time. “She made (this) a lot easier by informing me on what happens and the whole process of recovery,” said Vaughan. “Señora De Jesús is a wonderful and caring woman and I am very thankful for all that she has done for me.”
For the time being, Linda Horan is filling the place of Señora De Jesús. She is teaching Spanish 3 Honors, Spanish 1 Regents, and Spanish 4 Regents. “Teaching at JD has been great. People have been really helpful, and students have been very helpful as well,” said Señora Horan.
Señora De Jesús has been greatly missed among many, and the J-DHS community can’t wait for her to return. Señora De Jesús said she will be back, “as soon as my doctors give me the green light!” She is looking forward to seeing her “amazing” co workers and singing her favorite Spanish songs with her students.