'I thought I had lost her.' 5-year-old's headache leads to diagn - | WBTV Charlotte

'I thought I had lost her.' 5-year-old's headache leads to diagnosis of rare brain disorder

Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family) Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family)
Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family) Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family)
Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family) Aaliyah Rivera (Credit: Family)
Aaliyah Rivera and Tiffany Diaz (Credit: Family) Aaliyah Rivera and Tiffany Diaz (Credit: Family)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A 5-year-old Charlotte girl has a long road to recovery after she woke up from a nap with a headache, which then led to her being diagnosed with a rare brain condition. Her mother then wrote about the girl's journey on Facebook and the post has since gone viral. 

Tiffany Diaz wrote a Facebook post detailing the moments that led up to her daughter, Aaliyah Rivera, being diagnosed with Arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a rare disorder that causes hemorrhaging in the brain. 

According to family members, the girl woke up from a nap on April 12 with "an excruciating pain in her head." Diaz then took her daughter to the ER because she was concerned about the migraines. 

But what was thought to be migraines turned out to be a lot more sinister. That's when Diaz began living every mother's worst nightmare. 

Diaz said her daughter passed out in her arms shortly after arriving to the ER. The girl's blood pressure dropped and she was unresponsive, Diaz wrote on Facebook. "I thought I had lost her," Diaz said. "It was the scariest thing ever."

The girl was airlifted to the Levine's Children Hospital in Charlotte where she was then diagnosed with the brain disorder. Diaz says AVM is a "tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain" which led to her hemorrhaging. 

Rivera's mother said the disorder is usually discovered when someone has headaches or seizures. It's a condition her daughter was born with. 

"I was told she had a 33% chance of recovering back to herself, 33% chance of having severe brain damage, & 33% of not making it at all! I was terrified," Diaz said on Facebook.

The girl had to have four major brain surgeries in a span of five days, according to her mother. The girl is expected to have more surgeries in the next few months and will have to have extensive rehabilitation, according to a GoFundMe page created for the family. 

But that's not the end of the 5-year-old's long road to recovery. The surgeries made the girl's left side of her body "extremely weak" and she is no longer able to walk, according to her mother. "She is a fighter and I know she’ll make it through this as well with the help of God," Diaz said. 

Diaz took to Facebook to thank the thousands of people who prayed for her daughter. "The power of prayer is INCREDIBLE!!" she said. Diaz, who is originally from New York, said her daughter wanted people to pray for her. That's why she began posting updates on her daughter's condition on Facebook. 

"Although the hardest part is over, Aaliyah’s battle isn’t over. She still needs everyone to continue praying!" Diaz said. 

The crowdfunding page was created to help the single mother and her family. 

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