A 30-year-old man had six brain aneurysms, survived to tell the tale, and to return to work today at the same hospital where he collapsed and was diagnosed.
One of the aneurysms ruptured, meaning there was a 15 percent risk that Billy Brogdon-Simmons would not survive - even if his brain hadn't been riddled by another five aneurysms.
Billy collapsed at a Christmas party hosted by the hospital where he worked in Queens, New York.
It was so rare to have six aneurysms and Billy's were in such dangerous locations that his doctors nearly refused to operate for fear that he would never recover with any meaningful quality of life.
Incredibly, surgery and rehabilitation have brought Billy back from the brink of probable death from a highly improbable condition.iPhone transfer software
On the night an aneurysm ruptured in his brain, Billy Brogdon-Simmons (center) was enjoying his co-workers, dressed as a toy soldier at a tree-lighting for the hospital where he worked
On November 29, 2017, the ever-enthusiastic Billy showed up at the Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital to work the facility's first-ever Christmas tree-lighting.
He was dressed in a spiffy toy soldier costume and excited to use the brand new camera he'd just picked up to photograph the choirs singing there.
One second Billy was smiling, alternately taking and posing in photos, and the next he collapsed and begun seizing outside during the tree-lighting as one of the six aneurysms in his brain burst.
When he work up, Billy says he was 'in shock, but I couldn't show it,' Billy says.
'I couldn't speak, I couldn't move, so I was just housing it internally.
'It's probably a good thing, because I would have been outraged.'
Dr Amir Dehdashti points out one of the five aneurysms that he clipped in Billy's brain
Billy 'checked in with this big [surgical scheduling board] with dates and times,' he remembers.
It was December 9. Billy had been in a coma for 14 days after he had arrived at the tree-lighting ceremony.
About one in 50 people has at least one spot in their brain where a weakened blood vessel is bulging, threatening to leak or rupture.
Each year, the dam breaks and 30,000 people suffer a rupture, aneurysm, which proves fatal for about 40 percent of them.
Brain aneurysms are notorious for being quick killers; about fifteen percent of people who have them die before they reach a hospital for treatment.
But Billy was - at least in that one way - extraordinarily lucky.
Dr Joseph Marino, medical director of the hospital was among the crowd gathered for the tree-lighting.
He remembers contemplating CPR for Billy and turning around to see that a stretcher had appeared behind him. Billy was whisked into the ER, quickly intubated and sent for a CT scan.
Having many doctors, nurses and hospital staff on hand at the tree-lighting when he collapsed may well have saved Billy's life
Billy laughed and joked around with co-workers, grinning through a headache moments before his aneurysm ruptured
'What might have taken 25 minutes happened in three,' he recalls.
A neuroradiologist happened to be on-call that night, and quickly identified the aneurysms.
Billy had fallen into a coma and was transferred immediately to Northwell Neuroscience Institute where Dr Amir Dehdashti, a cerebrovascular neurosurgeon, had to take pause when he got Billy's case.
'It's pretty unlikely, especially in a very young person, to have so many aneurysms, but he probably has a genetic predisposition. It's rare but not impossible. It's more