Single mum Rebecca Reich, 29, can still recall the stabbing pain she suddenly felt in her head four months ago, so intense she was rushed to the emergency room.
Doctors advised her it was a migraine and sent her back to her New York home.
Little did they know, an aneurysm had just burst in her brain, causing internal bleeding.
The young mum went through hell the night she returned home, saying she felt like she was close to death.
"I'm just grateful to be alive because a lot of people in my situation don't make it out," Reich, who lives in Buffalo, New York, told TODAY.
"It was just a horrible scary experience that I wouldn't wish on anybody."
WHAT IS AN ANEURYSM?
According to the Brain Foundation, cerebral aneurysm is a common disorder caused by a weakness in the wall of a brain artery.
Aneurysms are most prevalent in people ages 35 to 60, but they do not discriminate.
There are no warning signs in many instances. Most aneurysms develop after the age of 40.
Left unchecked, a brain aneurysm is essentially a biological time bomb that can have devastating results.
According to the Lisa Foundation, 75 per cent of all brain aneurysm ruptures result in either death or permanent disability and 5 per cent of all emergency room admissions for severe headaches happen due to ruptured aneurysms.
Rebecca Reich was among that 5 per cent.
Reich had no symptoms and none of the other risk factors, which include smoking, high blood pressure and a family history of aneurysms.
The retail manager recalled being angry at a rude co-worker when the blinding headache hit, forcing her colleagues to rush her to emergency.
"It was like the worst pain I've ever felt in my life," she recalled.
"All of a sudden, it just felt like something had stabbed me in the top of my head, just a sharp piercing pain."
When doctors told her it was just a horrible migraine, Reich disagreed but was discharged.
That night, she woke in severe pain again and Reich's father called for an ambulance.
After performing an MRI, doctors found Reich's subarachnoid brain haemorrhage (ie bleeding around the brain).
After walking around for eight hours with internal bleeding, Reich said goodbye to her 2-year-old son and a priest visited her bedside before she was taken in for surgery.
Thankfully, doctors were able to surgically block the aneurysm, reduce the blood flow into it and induce clotting.
"I am just shocked that I came out of it, because I didn't think I would," she said.
After two months of recovery, the young mum returned to work this week only to find she's had to relearn much of her job, as her short-term memory has been affected.
Still, she admits: "I'm lucky to be alive."