A Second Chance at Life: Danet Wolski’s Blood Clot Story

Categories: Patient Stories

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 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 info@stoptheclot.org with questions about this matter.


On January 4, 2010, I had just given birth to my first child at the age of 20. It was an emergency C-section that I was not planning on. The next day, I was having a hard time breathing, and I informed the nurses about this. They told me it was normal pain from birth and the C-section, and that I would be fine. I laid in bed for over 24 hours before getting up to walk around. I was in a lot of pain as I tried to recover, but I pushed through. Before being discharged after four days in the hospital, I once again mentioned my pain in my chest and that it hurt when I breathed. The doctors gave me pain medication and sent me home.

The next three weeks were the hardest weeks of my life. I was taking care of a newborn baby and each day, it was a struggle to breathe. If I tried to lay down in bed, I had a sharp pain my left side, followed by what felt like popping. I had to try to sleep standing up. I was gasping for air and couldn’t get two words out before stopping to breathe. For three weeks it got worse and finally after a night of tears and pain, my husband at the time said we needed to get it checked out. I told him the nurses said it was normal and that I didn’t want to leave my daughter. At first he listened but after seeing me in pain that night, we decided to head to the ER. I left my three week old daughter with her aunt and we went. I told my daughter that hat mommy would be back in a few hours.

Within ten minutes of arriving in the ER, I was getting a room. They took blood work and it showed I had some clotting. I had no idea what that meant. They took me for X-rays and a CT scan of my lungs. The results showed multiple blood clots in both lungs with more in the left lung. I still had no clue what was going on. All I knew was that the doctor told us we were lucky we got there when we did or I could have had a heart attack or stroke.

I was very confused and scared. I was just turning 21 years old, and I was being hooked up to IVs and getting blood thinners in my stomach. They still would not tell me how bad everything was. I was without my daughter for a week as I laid in intensive care with around the clock care. In that time, my O2 stats were as low as 68 percent. I had pneumonia and needed blood transfusions as well as other treatments to stop any more clots from forming. I saw my daughter after a week and she held my hand and gave me strength to keep fighting.

It wasn’t until after I got home and had a year of doctor visits with INR checks and treatment with blood thinners, that I truly knew how seriously this all was. Research made me feel lucky and blessed to have survived. I went three weeks with clots forming in my lungs, and I was too stubborn to go get checked, even though I knew something wasn’t right. I never knew what a blood clot was until that very day.

Now, I inform everyone I can about blood clots. During that year, I came up with my own little motto to keep me going when I didn’t want to see doctors anymore – “I am a survivor and there is nothing I can’t do.” I almost lost out on being a mom because I was not informed and wasn’t taken serious by doctors who didn’t think I had a blood clot.

I am now a mom of two children, even though my second pregnancy was considered high risk because of my past experience with pregnancy and blood clots. I went back to school to get a college degree and graduated with high honors. I realized life was short, and I didn’t want to waste another moment, because I was so close to not getting the chance to live life to the fullest.


To join our online discussion community and connect with other people who have experienced a blood clot, please click here.

To learn more about pregnancy, childbirth and blood clots please click here.
To learn more about signs and symptoms of blood clots, please click here.
To learn more about how PE is diagnosed, please click here.

To share your story with NBCA, please click here.
Author: SW