Tuscon woman's brain leaks for over 4 months

TUCSON, AZ - A runny nose is something you might experience when you get a cold.  But what if there was fluid rushing out of your nose that you couldn't stop? This was the case for Tucson mother Aundrea Aragon.

Aundrea was cleaning her kitchen one day and bent over to pick something up off the ground.  It was then when she first felt the clear fluid rush out of her nose.

"I had no control over it, and I went to the bathroom and was trying to blow my nose," Aragon said.

The fluid continued to drain from her nose every day for months.  The longest time she said that the fluid would stop would be only about half hour.  Sleeping was very difficult for Aundrea, as she would choke on the fluid throughout the night as it went down into her throat. 

Several trips to Urgent Cares all left doctors confused. They claimed that Aundrea just had really bad allergies. However the last doctor she went to had something very interesting to say. Aundrea recalls the conversation that her and the doctor had, "It could be Cerebral Spinal Fluid. I said coming from where? Coming from your brain. I said oh… but he said that's so rare. It's very rare. It's highly unlikely that you would have that."

However Aundrea did have this condition. Approximately 1 in 200,000 people have a CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) leak. Doctor Alexander Chiu was the one that diagnosed Aundrea with having this rare condition.

"If she had got a bad cold or sinus infection she could have gotted bad meningitis or a brain infection, and these can be potentially fatal," explained Dr. Chiu.

Aundrea had to have brain surgery to repair the cracks in her bone that was allowing the fluid through.

The surgery was a success. Aundrea's nose is not longer leaking fluid, but she is still having a hard time believing that all of this happened to her. "I'm still in shock. I don't think it's really set in yet."

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