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Influencer Jackie Miller James shares first video update 10 months after coma: ‘There is hope’

James was put into a medically induced coma in May 2023 while nine months pregnant after experiencing a brain aneurysm rupture.
/ Source: TODAY

Influencer Jackie Miller James is on the road to recovery after she was put into a medically included coma following a brain aneurysm rupture in May 2023.

In an Instagram video shared on March 26, James addressed her followers and thanked them for their “love and support” amid her health struggles.

“We have been in hospitals from California to Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas,” she said in the video. “It’s been a tough year, but we’re ready to go home after 10 months recovery.”

She gave her followers insight into what was to come with the rest of her recovery journey, explaining, “There is more work to be done, but because of friends and family and this community, we’re ready to start living again.”

“I’ll be sharing my journey in recovery, but to the bottom of my heart, thank you,” she concluded in the video.

In the caption, James took a moment to relay the back story behind her health struggles, writing that she was “given a 50/50 chance of making it through the night” last May.

“One week from the due date of our first child, my husband, Austin, found me collapsed in our living room,” she explained. “I had suffered an aneurysm rupture in my brain. After a month in the ICU here in Orange County, we traveled from hospital to hospital pursuing continued therapies that would help me learn to live again.”

Here's a timeline of James' health and updates provided by her family:

May 2023

In May 2023, James underwent brain surgery and an emergency C-section after she experienced a brain aneurysm rupture one week before her due date. She had “severe brain bleeding” and was put into a medically induced coma, according to a GoFundMe page set up by her sisters, which has raised more than $338,000 as of March 31. (TODAY.com previously verified the validity of the GoFundMe page with a spokesperson for the fundraising platform.)

At the time, she was expected to remain in the intensive care unit for several weeks and would be hospitalized for months.

June 2023

James' newborn daughter, Knoxly Rose James, spent time in the NICU “due to the traumatic events of her birth,” but according to an update shared on June 6, she was brought home while her mom remained in the hospital.

July 2023

On July 2, the family shared in another Instagram update that James had woken up from her coma and was transferred to a neurological rehabilitation hospital.

She had also reunited with her daughter and was able to spend time with her family in the hospital.

December 2023

The family shared one more update to close out 2023.

According to a statement posted to Instagram on Dec. 28, 2023, James was “on the road to recovery with her baby and family by her side” and that “the motivation of being a new mother” and support from others gave her the drive to move forward.

March 2024

James shared her first video since her emergency surgery on March 27. Prior to the video, all updates on James' condition came from the GoFundMe page or statements posted to James' Instagram account.

In the video, James said she was experiencing aphasia, which can impair the expression and understanding of speech, reading, and writing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The disorder is caused by damage to one or more of the language areas of the brain.

She said aphasia was affecting her speech and said that she had “limited use” of her right arm and leg. 

“But, I’m more motivated than ever to keep putting in the work,” she wrote. “I look forward to sharing more about my unique journey in the hopes that it helps others going through trauma. There is hope!”

James said that though she’s had some “incredibly tough moments” during recovery, having her daughter by her side was her “source of motivation” and that her husband has been her “rock.”

“The journey to reclaim my life is ongoing, but I’m grateful for this community and the opportunity to share my story with you,” she concluded the caption. “I hope to offer empathy, provide hope, and bring awareness to the risks women face in pregnancy.”