Aminah Jennifa Ahmed, a 22-year-old University of Texas graduate, smiled broadly as she walked across the stage at the state university in Arlington and received two college diplomas. Within hours, she fell violently ill. Within two days, she had died. A suspected brain aneurysm took this young grad’s life. But from sudden tragedy springs swift hope – a charitable organization has now ramped up to fulfill Aminah’s life-long vision of helping others.
Writes USA Today: “Walking on the graduation stage is one of life’s happiest moments. It should have been Aminah’s happy moment on Friday. On Friday, Aminah Jennifa Ahmed got degrees in biology and business from the University of Texas at Arlington. Family members and friends say she was smart and caring, but that day, she was also hurting.”
The dual major complained of headaches shortly before and after the ceremony. Before she left the campus to ride home, she vomited. Within hours, the vomiting was uncontrollable. Assuring her father she was simply overwhelmed by the stress of exams and graduating, she took a nap on her couch at home. Within hours, she was on life support at the hospital.
“There was zero symptoms, zero signs, zero everything before graduation day,” her father, Shamsul Ahmed, said. “She said she had a headache and throwing up, and that’s it.”
“We watched her walk, and I shouted at the top of my lungs for her,” said Aminah’s cousin Shahina Ahmed recalled. “You hold on to that faith and you know you’re OK with that, but then, at the same time, your world is just kind of tumbling.”
Although not confirmed, the family believes Aminah suffered a brain aneurysm. According to WebMD, a “brain (cerebral) aneurysm is a bulging, weak area in the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. In most cases, a brain aneurysm causes no symptoms and goes unnoticed. In rare cases, the brain aneurysm ruptures, releasing blood into the skull and causing a stroke. When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the result is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Depending on the severity of the hemorrhage, brain damage or death may result.”
Dr. Babu Welch with UT Southwestern spoke of aneurysms and said that brain hemorrhages typically occur in middle-aged individuals, as opposed to young people.
“It’s not very common in young patients; usually our average age range is in that 40-60-year-old range,” Dr. Welch said. One factor to consider is family genetics. “If you have two family members generally speaking that have had aneurysms, and if you have a bad headache, you probably should be screened,” Dr. Welch added. Smoking increases those risks.
A GoFundMe legacy page has now been set up called “Aminah Sees.” The target goal of the fundraiser is considerable – $1 million – but the cause is virtuous. Aminah often spoke of helping children in South Asia gain clear eyesight. The charity established in her name is hoping to make that happen.
Authored by her parents shortly before she passed, her page reads:
A girl that can.
All she ever wanted was to push people through faith. Push people to do what was right, and push people to make a difference. This special girl’s mission was to change the world. It’s a goal that many of us have. But Aminah had a drive to motivate the people around her to become spiritual and make a positive difference in the world.
Her superb performance in school allowed her to receive her B.S. in Biology and a minor in Business, with a plan to become a Physicians Assistant and fulfill her dream of helping people around the world through a healing hand. She dreamed of enabling millions of destitute children throughout South Asia to gain clear eyesight.
Yet this passionate girl’s dreams are on hold right now. On Aminah’s graduation from university she succumbed to a brain hemorrhage, leaving her on life support.
We all love Aminah and want her to make an impact in the world through the change she made in us. We want to carry out her dream by asking you to help. We are seeking donations to begin a program called “Aminah Sees.” We want to start off by making her dream of helping South Asian children get access to suitable vision care and glasses. Please assist this cause by making a donation or offering a prayer to allow a child to see Aminah’s vision come to life. We hope this becomes a continuous charity for her.
As of the writing of this article, Aminah’s family had raised $37K. To help see Aminah Jennifa Ahmed’s dream realized, visit her GoFundMe page.