Brain hemorrhage survivor returns to Colorado to thank Spalding Rehab staff

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AURORA, Colo. – Mimi Hayes has defied the odds. She survived what many have not.

Hayes -- originally from Colorado and now living in New York -- has returned home to be reunited with medical staff at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. Her therapy there, following a brain hemorrhage, has been key to helping her live life to the fullest.

“I would not be the person I am today without the people that were here with me getting me back to health,” Hayes told FOX31.

But getting to where Hayes is today was not easy. Symptoms started with dizziness but soon led to debilitating issues, she said. She wasn’t able to walk and saw double. At the age of 22 in 2014, a brain hemorrhage put her student teaching career and ambitions to run a half marathon on hold. Brain surgery was ordered -- a risky operation.

“After the surgery it was completely different territory,” Hayes explained. “I couldn’t walk at all. I was seeing double and sideways.”

Feeling hopeless and scared, Mimi turned to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital in Aurora where therapist Vicki Council and others worked their magic.

“I had to give her reassurance all the time, and I really felt like she was going to recover very nicely,” Council said.

Hayes is now pursuing a comedy career in New York and has written a book about her journey. She still struggles with sound and light sensitivity, but she says she’s back to nearly a 100 percent recovery.

She returned to Colorado this week to say thanks, sign books and encourage others to realize the benefits of post-op therapy.

Hayes’ I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head book kickoff event is Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the ReCreative Denver art gallery on Santa Fe Drive.

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