College Student on Spring Break in Mexico Suffers Brain Hemorrhage

Spring Break is supposed to be a much needed break for students from the stress and rigors of the school environment. Especially for college students, it’s a time when students let loose with their friends and sometimes enjoy a vacation to a tropical destination.

Liza Burke is a senior at the University of Georgia. The North Carolina native traveled to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico with a bunch of her friends to enjoy the week off of school. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong.

In a GoFundMe set up by Burke’s friend Jennifer Ritter, Ritter explains “Liza, a senior at UGA, was enjoying her last spring break in Cabo San Lucas with a big group of friends.”

She went on to explain that on Friday things went from normal to bad to terrifying. She explained, “She woke Friday morning feeling great. At breakfast, she complained of a headache and went back to the room to rest. A few hours later, her friends called the doctor because they couldn’t wake her.”

Burke was transported to a local hospital where doctors diagnosed her with Arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which caused a brain hemorrhage. 

Ritter told WSB-TV that on Friday Burke told her, “I’m going to go back to the room to lay down and take some medicine” because she had a headache. Later, when her friends tried to wake her up, she wouldn’t wake up.

According to Ritter, the Arteriovenous malformation, which causes a disruption in the normal flow of blood and oxygen, is something Ritter had since birth but was undiagnosed. Burke had to have emergency surgery to remove part of her skull, and she was placed on life support.

On Tuesday, with the funds raised from the GoFundMe, Burke was placed on a medical flight from Mexico back to the United States. She is currently receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, which is near her mother’s home.

Laura McKeithan, Burke’s mother, explained that her daughter is currently able to breathe on her own and is able to squeeze her hand; however, she has a long road to recovery ahead of her. McKeithan called her daughter “nothing short of a miracle.” She added, “We are told to take things one day at a time and not get our hopes too high, but to have plenty of hope.”