The bitter irony of her son’s death of a brain aneurysm has not escaped the attention of teacher Daulia Scarlett.
Nine year old Shariv Grant had wanted to be a neurosurgeon as soon as he had been old enough to articulate his future ambitions. But little did he or his family know that he had a fatal and rare brain aneurysm of the Circle of Willis.
“It is the irony of the situation that gets me. Shariv wanted to be a neurosurgeon, all this time, he wanted to be one, and he needed to see one,” Daulia Scarlett told Loop Jamaica reporter Claude Mills.
“There were no symptoms. The doctor told me that it is a rare condition, and it is mostly when people die that it is detected. You can live a normal life, but it is like a time bomb waiting to explode.”
The autopsy was conducted on Monday, March 12, and has given her a definite reason for his death. It sent her scrambling for answers online as she engulfs herself in research, but the answers discovered have provided cold comfort.
Her only son is gone. Forever.
“It is just hard to cope with,” she said.
“Shariv’s autopsy took the longest, they opened his stomach, all his vitals were intact, but they opened his head from the back because of previous experience. The Cuban pathologist told me that he didn’t need a microscope, he was born with a malformation, a balloon of blood in his brain at the Circle of Willis where the arteries meet. The aneurysm couldn’t have been detected, not even with a CT scan, unless you knew what you were looking for,” Scarlett said.
A brain aneurysm is a bulge that forms in the blood vessel of your brain that could lead to severe health issues and possibly death. Arteries that conduct blood to the brain — the internal-carotid and vertebral arteries — connect through the Circle of Willis, which loops around the brainstem at the base of the brain.
Most brain aneurysms don’t cause any symptoms, and only a small percentage of them result in health problems. Symptoms of an unruptured aneurysm include headache or pain behind or above the eye, which can be mild or severe, blurred or double vision.
“It really pains my heart to know that this is what killed him. It sounds unfair to say ‘why my baby?’, but that’s just how I feel, if is 6 to 8 out of every 100,000 people who have the condition, but why my baby?” Ms Scarlett said.
Shariv Grant was a student of Angels Primary in St Catherine. He suddenly died on February 19.
“He had no excruciating headaches, no speech impediment, no walking problems, he was a brilliant child. When one suffers a brain aneurysm, within two to three hours, one can be dead, with Shariv, it was at least 15 minutes. I have been doing so much research on this condition, wondering if there were anything I could have done differently, but it is so rare that the doctors said that it is a condition you have to die to know if you have it or not,” Ms Scarlett said.
The funeral service for Shariv Grant will be held at the Sydenham Seventh-Day Adventist Church on April 1 at 1 pm.