Tiffany lives in Kill Devil Hills and was one of our county’s first responders, working as a paramedic for Dare County Emergency Medical Services. She has long been a supporter of the Outer Banks Relief Foundation. For more than a dozen years, Tiffany made it a priority to volunteer for the Outer Banks Sporting Events races, both personally and professionally. The races provided the Relief Foundation with the revenue. Tiffany never would have guessed that she’d one day be a beneficiary.
Tiffany was at work in late 2022 when she suffered a brain aneurysm. That began her long journey to regain her health. While in the hospital, she needed a temporary shunt placed in her skull to help relieve pressure on the brain. She also required multiple surgeries, with the most extensive being one to place a permanent stent in her left coronary artery to bypass the aneurysm and reduce the blood pressure to that artery. Tiffany effectively suffered a severe cerebrovascular injury and then a traumatic brain injury from the swelling that occurred after the aneurysm.
Her neurosurgeon told her that she would need to restrict all activity for six months from the date of her aneurysm, including stringent restrictions on lifting, bending and driving. She was told to plan for living with some cognitive and physical limitations that would persist even after six months.
“There is extensive healing time when talking about the brain,” Tiffany told us. “The cerebrovascular system takes approximately eighteen to twenty- four months to heal, while the brain may take an additional twelve months to fully recover from a traumatic brain injury.”
Even with the extended medical leave benefits she received through the county, Stephanie’s budget began to be strained in 2023, and she reached out to the Relief Foundation. Tiffany received an award that was paid directly to her mortgage company, providing three months of help.
Today Tiffany is still recovering. She had a one-year follow up angiogram in October 2023 which revealed remarkable healing of the artery. However, due to the location of the injury, the neurosurgeon has determined that permanent lifting, bending and stress restrictions be put in place to ensure a lifetime of healthy living. She is currently rebuilding her life outside of EMS and planning for a future that includes personal health and continued community service.
“During all the years that I volunteered personally for Outer Banks Sporting Events or as a paramedic for the races, I simply wanted to give back to this community and help those in need. I never anticipated needing the Outer Banks Relief Foundation to play an integral role in my life as a recipient. But without the foundation, I would have been forced to sell my home and incur additional stress during one of the most trying times of my life. The Relief Foundation has been a true blessing for me and so many others in the community. What you provide, in the form of financial support, can’t be quantified. I am eternally grateful for the Outer Banks Relief Foundation and its donors, big and small, and for the assistance and peace of mind you provided me during those first months of rebuilding my life. Thank you OBRF for being such a blessing to our community.”