Main content

    Joycelin's story of an aneurysm AND breast cancer

    "I've faced death many times," says Joycelin Craig matter-of-factly. And each time, "the key to my recovery was positive thinking," she reflects, along with "all the great care I had from California Pacific Medical Center."

    Joycelin faced her first medical crisis one morning when a sudden, severe headache struck, followed by a seizure. She was taken by ambulance to California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC), where tests revealed a ruptured brain aneurysm. She was rushed into surgery, performed by CPMC neurosurgeon Jeffrey Thomas, M.D.

    During this operation, Dr. Thomas discovered a second brain aneurysm—which would require a separate surgery months later, once Joycelin had fully recovered from the first operation. "I didn't have any stroke symptoms, so I didn’t have as long of a recovery," recalls Joycelin. "Friends, family and a great experience at CPMC—all of those things helped me heal."

    It took two more brain surgeries before Joycelin's aneurysms were declared successfully treated—and Dr. Thomas helped to keep her outlook bright. "One of my priorities is not to let my patients lose hope because I think that has a lot to do with how people ultimately do," he says.

    Just when Joycelin thought life would return to normal, she was dealt another shocking blow: she had stage 1 breast cancer. Without hesitation, she chose to undergo surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments at CPMC.

    Today, two years later, feeling strong and healthy, Joycelin recognizes that "I survived something most people don't," adding "I consider CPMC my second home." Adds Dr. Thomas, "She's one of the most courageous people I’ve ever met."