When is the last time you had an energy drink? Maybe you had one this morning, or will have one in the afternoon to perk yourself up? The sugary caffeinated beverages are extremely popular, but few people stop to consider the effect they have on the human body.
For most people, enjoying an energy drink every now and then isn’t much of a concern, but for one man and his pregnant wife, his overuse of them changed their family forever and left him unrecognizable. Austin and Brianna, a young couple from California, were expecting their first child when the unthinkable happened. Brianna received a call one morning informing her that her beloved husband was in the hospital after suffering an injury at work. Without knowing the details, Brianna, now nine months pregnant, drove two hours to find out that her husband was undergoing complex brain surgery.
Austin had suffered from a brain hemorrhage. Following the gruelling five our procedure was yet another surgery, strokes, seizures, and swelling. Austin tested negative for any drugs in his system, and the only thing doctors could attribute the hemorrhage to was Austin’s excessive consumption of energy drinks. He had picked up the habit in order to cope with a busy work schedule and a long commute. The caffeine in the beverages constricts the blood vessels, elevating blood pressure, and putting a person at a higher risk for a brain hemorrhage.
One of the procedures Austin underwent was a decompressive craniotomy. This is where a portion of Austin’s skull was permanently removed to stop the bleeding in his brain. Briana did not know if he would survive. “There was a moment, sitting by his hospital bed, just praying he would be okay, that I knew I would never give up on him. No matter how messy our life would become. I was going to be by his side through all of it.” But Briana could not stay by his side when it cam time to deliver their baby. “I’m not going to lie to anyone, it was so hard. I had planned on Austin being a part of this huge moment. Being by my side. Holding my hand. Being there to cut the cord. Being there to welcome our son into the world. It didn’t feel right.” With her newborn son only a week old, Briana made the difficult decision to leave her baby with her in-laws in order to be with Austin as he travelled across the country to undergo more medical procedures and specialized treatments. Then a miracle happened. Austin woke up. At just over two months, their son finally met his dad. Austin moved back home a short time later and the three of them could finally be together as a family, even if it wasn’t the family Briana had imagined.
“I wake up every day to take care of our beautiful little boy and my husband. I prepare the meals, do physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I help him with personal hygiene. I help him walk. I help him with every aspect of his life.”
Although she says that Austin physically isn’t the man she fell in love with, Briana believes that she stills falls further in love with him every day. She is committed to helping her husband and keeping her family together one day at a time. “One day we will get there,” she says. “Until then, I will never give up on him. Because love is selfless, and I love him more than life itself.” Remember, energy drinks are great once in a while for a quick boost, but too much can cause serious effects to your help. So if you’ve found yourself reliant on the caffeinated beverages, talk to a doctor about how you can cut down and cut them out for good.
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