BMC’s Yawkey building doors are now closed as an entrance as part of our ongoing efforts to enhance our campus and provide you with the best clinical care.

All patients and visitors on our main campus must enter our hospital via Shapiro, Menino, or Moakley buildings, where they will be greeted by team members at a new centralized check-in desk before continuing to the hospital. We are excited to welcome you and appreciate your patience as we improve our facilities.

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in a blood vessel within the brain. Sometimes a small brain aneurysm can be present with no symptoms, but when an aneurysm bursts or leaks, it causes bleeding in the brain with symptoms like sudden, severe headache and vomiting, which is a life-threatening emergency. A large unruptured aneurysm can press on nerves and tissue, causing symptoms like pain near the eyes and numbness or weakness in the face.

The risk of rupture of a brain aneurysm is thought to be very low; approximately less than one percent per year. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people experience cerebral aneurysm ruptures in the United States each year. 

Aneurysm rupture often occurs with a severe headache that comes on suddenly. Most people claim that it is "the worse headache of my life." Nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness may be associated symptoms with the aneurysm rupture. Ten percent of these patients die before receiving medical attention; half die three months after the rupture event. One out of two patients who survive a ruptured aneurysm experience serious neurological or psychological problems.

Patient Stories

Wildine Despeignes
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)

On September 11, 2017, Wildine was at the gym when she suddenly felt something was happening to her. She left the stairmaster and sat on a bench in the locker room. She had a headache. She moved from the bench to the floor by a locker. The gym manager called 911. She called Boston EMS, but Wildine wanted to go home. She signed them off and drove herself home. 

When she walked through the door of her house, the headache went from 1/10 to 10/10 to 20/10 instantly. Wildine states, "It felt like fire, it felt like a bomb. It was hurting." She called her friend Fita and told her she had pain in her spine. Fita advised her to call 911, and when EMS came to her door, she collapsed to her knees. 

She arrived at BMC and was greeted by her care team, Dr. Thanh Nguyen and Dr. Courtney Takahashi. She was found to have a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm. She was brought to the neurointerventional suite and underwent coiling of her aneurysm with good aneurysm occlusion.
Since her aneurysm treatment at BMC, Wildine has been very well and has had no significant headaches. She is grateful to God and to her care providers at BMC.

Departments and Programs Who Treat This Condition


Interventional Neuroradiology

Our multidisciplinary group offers cutting-edge diagnostic imaging and treatment for conditions that affect the brain, neck, and spinal cord.


The Neurology Department offers a full spectrum of neurological care for all neurological disorders, from epilepsy to headaches to Alzheimer’s disease. Our robust research program…


We provide comprehensive surgical treatment of the spine for trauma, degenerative conditions, congenital problems, and more. Our surgeons are experts in less invasive surgical tec…

Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center

BMC’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center is proud to be certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission, which recognizes our ability to treat complex strokes. O…

Vascular Neurosurgery

Cerebrovascular issues can quickly become a life-threatening problem. Our team of expert surgeons can provide quick and highly specialized diagnoses and treatment.