Death of former Cleveland reporter raises health questions - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Death of former Cleveland reporter raises health questions

New health questions after death of former Cleveland reporter (Source: Raycom Media) New health questions after death of former Cleveland reporter (Source: Raycom Media)

A former Cleveland television news reporter has died.

Lisa Colagrossi was reporting in New York City on Thursday when she suffered a brain aneurysm and died the next day.

Colagrossi worked in Cleveland in the early 1990s.

Now many are asking how common is a brain aneurysm and are there warning signs?

Colagrossi's death hit close to home for Toni Zemaitis. Just eight years ago, at age 34, she too suffered a ruptured aneurysm that nearly took her life.

It all started with a headache and a phone call to her husband.

"An hour after I made that phone call to my husband, that I told him I was going to take a nap, I started screaming 'my head, my head, something is wrong', and when I was on the phone with him the phone went dead," said Zemaitis.

Her husband called 911. Emergency crews found Zemaitis unconscious on the floor.

Neurosurgeon Doctor Warren Selman with UH Case Medical Center treated Toni and she did beat the odds. Dr. Selman says 40 percent of those with ruptured aneurysms die within 24 hours.

"That's the unfortunate things they don't always declare themselves until it's too late. Until they rupture so sometimes they go unnoticed for a person's whole life which would be great, on the other hand, they present suddenly with a rupture," said Dr. Selman.

If you have a family history of aneurysms you should tell your doctor and get tested. Aneurysms are most common among those between the age of 30 and 50 years old.

Zemaitis is thankful she walked away with her life and hopes others will go to the doctor and get screened.

"Just because you're young don't take it for granted and think nothing is going to happen. Because that perception is out there that old people have strokes or heart attacks, that's not the case anymore," said Zemaitis.

Click here to learn more about aneurysms.

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