Brain hemorrhage survivor returns to Colorado to thank Spalding Rehab staff

REPORTED BY MICHAEL KONOPASEK, Fox31 Denver, September 20, 2018

AURORA, Colo. – Mimi Hayes has defied the odds. She survived what many have not.

Hayes -- originally from Colorado and now living in New York -- has returned home to be reunited with medical staff at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital. Her therapy there, following a brain hemorrhage, has been key to helping her live life to the fullest.

“I would not be the person I am today without the people that were here with me getting me back to health,” Hayes told FOX31.

But getting to where Hayes is today was not easy. Symptoms started with dizziness but soon led to debilitating issues, she said. She wasn’t able to walk and saw double. At the age of 22 in 2014, a brain hemorrhage put her student teaching career and ambitions to run a half marathon on hold. Brain surgery was ordered -- a risky operation.

“After the surgery it was completely different territory,” Hayes explained. “I couldn’t walk at all. I was seeing double and sideways.”

Feeling hopeless and scared, Mimi turned to Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital in Aurora where therapist Vicki Council and others worked their magic.

“I had to give her reassurance all the time, and I really felt like she was going to recover very nicely,” Council said.

Hayes is now pursuing a comedy career in New York and has written a book about her journey. She still struggles with sound and light sensitivity, but she says she’s back to nearly a 100 percent recovery.

She returned to Colorado this week to say thanks, sign books and encourage others to realize the benefits of post-op therapy.

Hayes’ I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head book kickoff event is Friday at 6:30 p.m. at the ReCreative Denver art gallery on Santa Fe Drive.

IT’S A FUNNY STORY – How an Aurora comic turned tragedy into comedy

SASHA HELLER, The Aurora Sentinel September 28, 2018


If comedy is the best medicine, then get Mimi Hayes a white coat and stethoscope.

The Aurora native, who suffered a near-fatal brain hemorrhage at 22, has turned her tragedy into comedic fare by documenting her recovery in a memoir, “I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head.”

“To share that with people now is terrifying but also very powerful,” she said.

It’s that connection she finds with other people who have also experienced head trauma that drives Mimi and is the reason she wrote her book.


Voted one of the top comedians in New York City to look out for in 2018 by popular site Mogul:

Mimi Hayes is not your average brunette. Underneath that mane of hair lies a pretty wicked scar that makes quite the impression at dinner parties. An ex-high school teacher and brain surgery survivor, Mimi spends a lot of time on stage cracking dark jokes about catheters and former students. Her unique flavor of comedy has graced the stages of Denver Comedy Works, The Broadway Comedy Club, Reckless Theater, and UCB. She is currently a member of the improv team Big Shot at Reckless performing weekly as well as a frequent at Lovecraft Comedy Cult. You'll want to make sure you pick up her debut memoir, "I'll Be OK, It's Just A Hole In My Head", set to publish fall 2018, on her hilarious journey through heartbreak and head injury.

Big Talk and Brewski's Podcast, 2017

Interview by podcast Big Talk and Brewski's on December 1, 2017.

Podcast Appearances 

Love Hurts Podcast: EP. 26 My brain Nugget


This is Love Hurts. Mimi Hayes is an author and comedian living in New York City. Right after graduating college, Mimi got dumped by her boyfriend of five years and a few months later found out her brain was bleeding. She then had to try and figure out what was going on with her brain as she continued to try and get through the breakup.

If you like our conversation she actually wrote an entire book about this experience called I’ll Be Ok: It’s Just a Hole in My Head. You can buy it from the publisher and on Amazon now.

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes: Brain Hemorrhages, Book Deals And Moving to New York City (Feat. Mimi Hayes)


Tiny Leaps, Big Changes is a self-help, wellness, motivation, and inspirational podcast about the day-to-day behaviors we all engage in that determine the results we gain in our lives. On this show, I share simple personal development strategies you can use as well as the habits you can develop to get the most out of your life.

In this episode I sit down to talk with Mimi about her new book, I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head, available now!

Just One More Podcast: EP. 143 Surviving Brain Surgery with Mimi Hayes


You know that feeling when you’re 22 and just out of college and you start your first job and you aren’t feeling well and it turns out you have a brain hemorrhage and have to have brain surgery? Comedian and author Mimi Hayes knows that feeling! Mimi tells the story of her diagnosis and recovery in her new book I'll Be OK, It's Just a Hole In My Head, and she has great advice (and jokes!) for anyone dealing with brain injury or supporting someone going through it.

Links in this episode: Buy Mimi’s book from her publisher or on Amazon, Mimi’s website, Mimi and the Brain podcast


We're BACK! This week, NYC author and comedian Mimi Hayes joins us to talk about her brand new book.  Mimi suffered a brain bleed at age 22.  Listen to her talk about using humor to learn to walk again and get through life as a traumatic brain injury survivor. 

Schooling Noah EP. 28 Authoring a book


Welcome to Schooling Noah with Aaron Maslow and a Special Guest. This week’s episode is all about our guest’s new book and book tour. Mimi Hayes is a published author and comedian who is currently residing in New York. Her book, I’ll Be Ok, It’s Just a Hole in My Head, is based on her experience dealing with the trauma and recovery of having a mass of cells form on her brain. After dealing with the end of a long term relationship, surgeries and recovery, Mimi found a path forward and shares her message with us! While it is uncertain why the clump of cells formed, it is certain that she has a sense of humor about it. She is wonderfully delightful!

Noah and Aaron also cover topics like Noah’s bus ride, the heat of New York, high school and bullies. This is a really fun episode and Mimi is great. Go out an buy her book at Mutiny Info Cafe or get a copy over at her website

The NeuroNerds: EP. 23 Mimi & The Brain 


This episode features our first remote interview! Our first interviewee is with fellow brain injury survivor, Mimi Hayes. Mimi is currently living in New York living the creative life as a comedian and soon to be published author just a few short years after suffering a cavernous angioma that hemorrhaged in her brain. Defying all odds, Mimi is flourishing and her book “I’ll Be OK, It’s Just a Hole in My Head” will be published on September 18, 2018. Listen to co-host Joe Borges and Lauren Manzano interview this inspiring NeuroNerd superstar!

Yes and I Am with Aaron Max, EP. March 2018

This week we talked to a famous actress, "Winona Ryder", about her odd uprbringings and her run ins with the law.

Positive and Negative with Tristan Miller, March 2018

Positive and Negative is a podcast where Tristan Miller discusses the relationship between mental health and the creative temperament. This episode's guest is comedian and author Mimi Hayes! We talk about comedy and brain damage.