The personal story below is intended for informational purposes only. The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) holds the rights to all content that appears on its website. The use by another organization or online group of any content on NBCA’s website, including the patient stories that appear here, does not imply that NBCA is connected to these other organizations or groups or condones or endorses their work. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about this matter.
My name is Caitlin Augustine; I’m 22 years old and lucky to be alive. I have already suffered through three DVTs, a life threatening condition. Today, I made it my mission to raise awareness of this deadly health risk – one that causes over 100,000 deaths a year.
The first time I ever heard of blood clots or DVTs I was only 19. Following a tonsillectomy, a routine procedure with few risks, I noticed what felt like a pulled gluteal muscle. Over the next 2 weeks the pain intensified and moved into my lower abdomen. Because of the severe pain, my doctor finally decided to schedule an emergency CAT scan. It was a DVT – deep vein thrombosis.
After admission into the hospital my family was told that I probably would not survive. The CAT scan revealed a DVT so long that it ran from behind my knee, up my leg, through my abdomen and stopped just below the main vein to my heart. At this time, I was also diagnosed with Factor V Leiden, a common clotting disorder. Once this was discovered, a majority of family members on my father’s side tested positive as well, including both my dad and my sister.
I did survive and I am grateful every day for my second chance on life. Since that time, I had two additional DVTs and identified another clotting disorder called lupus anticoagulant. Due to my medical history, I must remain on blood thinners for the rest of my life.
It has been difficult at times living with these clotting disorders, but I’m proud to say I recently graduated from college, began an internship and enjoy volunteering and advocating with the National Blood Clot Alliance – an organization whose mission is something I truly believe in.
I’m so glad I found a way to fight back. By sharing my story and raising awareness, I hope to prevent others from having to experience what I did. In order for us to spread the word, I ask that you help in our effort to raise funds for the National Blood Clot Alliance. Through your support, which is 100% tax deductible, you will help NBCA continue to alert and educate the public and healthcare providers about this silent killer.