About Us

FriendsAFinal (1)

Friends of A is a collection of friends who met Adrienne Hussey through her involvement in the Rose of Tralee International Festival in 2010. Adrienne represented her home state of Texas and immediately fell in love with Ireland and its people. This proved to be the catalyst for her eventual move to Dublin in November 2011 to begin a new adventure but Adrienne tragically passed away the following January from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm, aged just 26.

Our main aim is to fund ongoing research into cranial aneurysms in memory of Adrienne and ensure that while her life was cut so tragically short, her legacy will not be.

To date, we have worked with the CABER team at the University of Limerick who have an extensive history in aneurysm research in diagnostic rupture behavior involving the use of both solid and fluid mechanics tools and has been involved in international studies of blood flow behavior in cranial aneurysms. We have also been working very closely with Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, the leading centre of neurology in Ireland, on a new research project to continue the vital research into this deadly which there is currently so very little known about.

We are a completely voluntary organisation with 100% of our time and funds raised directly impact brain aneurysm research. All donations are gratefully accepted and can be made online by clicking here. Together we can make a real difference to the future of our family and friends.

About Adrienne

Adrienne Hussey

Adrienne Elizabeth Hussey represented Texas at the 2010 Rose of Tralee International Festival and immediately fell in love with Ireland and its people. This proved to be the catalyst for her eventual move to Dublin in late 2011.
Before Adrienne’s move she graduated from the University of Texas in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in social work, followed in 2011 by a Master of Science in social work.

Adrienne was employed at The Ann Richards School Foundation in Austin, Texas as the manager of special projects before her move to Ireland. She worked closely with the executive director in supporting programs for the Ann Richards School for at-risk girls, helped with fundraising, developed endowment campaigns and managed trust accounts.

She had also been a case manager for South West Key Program in Austin and a program manager for The Austin Academy in Austin. Adrienne was a Big Sister Mentor since 2005, a representative for the School of Social Work at the University of Austin Student Government Board and an All-Ireland champion Irish dancer. She loved life and helping others.

Adrienne was extremely proud of her education and always wanted to help others who entered her life in any way that she could. All of Adrienne’s family and friends were only too aware of this hope to inspire others in life, and our team is committed to honouring that hope and continuing that trend through the establishment of the University of Limerick Adrienne Hussey Scholarship

On a personal level Adrienne was one of a kind. She lived life with a fervour, allowing no obstacles stand in the way of pursuing something she believed in or achievements she set for herself. Adrienne was intensely proud of her heritage and of her home state of Texas. She laughed with all of her heart and soul. She hugged with every ounce of strength, and she gave her friendship with the generosity that flowed through her life. A light as bright as Adrienne cannot be extinguished by death, she continues to shine a beacon to all of her friends and family and is remembered with love each and every day.

Adrienne passed away suddenly on January 19th 2012 while living in Dublin aged just 26 years old.

 

About Cerebral Aneurysms

Cerebral aneurysms (CA) are localised swellings of arteries in the brain resulting from an acquired, or less frequently, a congenital weakness in the arterial wall. Diameters range from 1mm up to ‘giant’ aneurysms greater than 25mm. Cerebral aneurysms are typically saccular in shape and typically occur at arterial junctions and have a predilection for particular areas of the arterial system.

The prevalence of CA remains uncertain and evidence suggests that 2–6% of the general population may harbour an intracranial aneurysm afflicting as many as 6 million in the United States. The majority of individuals with cerebral aneurysms are asymptomatic and are unaware of it. They are typically discovered incidentally, on brain imaging for some other reason, or more seriously after aneurysm rupture which causes subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). The mean annual incidence of a ruptured IA, the most devastating presentation, in Western Europe and the United States is 10 per 100,000 of population accounting for 35,000 new patients each year in the EU and approximately 30,000 in the USA. The rupture of a cerebral aneurysm can have devastating effects, with 12% of patients dying before receiving medical treatment, and a further 40% dying within one month of the rupture if untreated. Of the survivors, 25% of the patients suffer severe neurological disability due to vasospasm and subsequently stroke, recurrent bleeding and other complications.

Treatment options are available for all aneurysms by open surgery or more commonly now, in the majority of cases, via an endovascular approach which involves catheterisation of the aneurysm and placing several ‘coils’ made of platinum into the aneurysm in order to occlude the aneurysm. However, whilst necessary in the setting of a ruptured aneurysms, offering treatment to those with unruptured aneurysms is less clear. The reason for this is the natural history is poorly understand, which aneurysm might rupture, which won’t, but mainly due to the fact that treatment is complex and carries significant risks itself.

Several theories have been suggested as to the initiation and formation of cerebral aneurysms. But more importantly once aneurysm is present why does it rupture? Why does a 2mm aneurysm in one patient rupture and a 22 mm aneurysm in another patient not rupture? Are there any architectural aspects of the aneurysm or blood pressure changes that would allow us to predict who is more likely to rupture? These theories include the idea that the interaction between local blood flow and the wall of the artery may lead to expansion and development of an aneurysm. Vascular remodelling is believed to take place when there are local flow disturbances in the blood stream and the artery wall is subjected to abnormal stresses. Ideally an understanding of vascular remodelling would facilitate a greater understanding of why some aneurysms rupture. If we could predict which aneurysm is more likely to rupture then the potentially lifesaving treatment, which has its own risks, could be offered to the at risk group whilst sparing others potentially unnecessary intervention.

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