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WBrittney_Patient Photoe are all incredibly strong, remember that when the bad days outweigh the good ones.

My name is Brittney Berlingeri and I am twenty-two years old. Over the summer, I was diagnosed with a pulled muscle that was then diagnosed as “pneumonia,” despite the fact that my D-Dimer test was elevated. I could not breathe. It was the most painful experience of my life. Symptoms eased, but I was extremely fatigued and little things like walking up stairs left me breathless.

My grandfather, Carmelo Berlingeri, passed away on January 31, 2016. He was my whole heart and my strength. I started getting the pain I did in the summer, but on the right side of my ribs into my back. I dealt with the pain for two days. Something in me told me that I should go to the hospital because something was not right.

I went to the hospital. My D-Dimer was elevated and the CAT scan showed multiple emboli in both of my lungs along with infarction. I had fevers, pain, and 23 tubes of blood drawn. I was in the hospital for three days and I have been in and out of doctors’ offices for testing ever since.

It’s been three weeks out of work and I don’t know what’s worse, the pain of losing my grandfather or the feeling of someone taking a bat to my lungs. I am a rare 2% of people who have two genetic mutations for blood clotting. Needless to say I’ll be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. I don’t like to think my life is defined by a pill, but without blood thinners I wouldn’t be alive. I’m depressed and anxious. What if it comes back? Am I going to die? What happens when I get pregnant or as I get older? I have all of these questions, but all I can all do is take life day by day. Right now, I am on a blood thinner with less restrictions and my blood is regulated.

Everyone at the hospital said I had a Guardian Angel looking over me, for without the clot pushing against my liver, I would have died. The road to recovery is hard, but with the National Blood Clot Alliance website and other patient stories there, it is helpful to know that I’m not the only one. I truly understand how scary this is. I’ll pray for all of your recoveries to a life that we were meant to live.


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To learn more about signs and symptoms of blood clots, please click here.
To learn more about blood clot risk factors, please click here.
To learn more about how PE is diagnosed, please click here.
Author: SW

3 Responses to "Finding Strength in Numbers: Brittney Berlingeri’s Blood Clot Story"

  1. Chad Randolph
    Chad Randolph Posted on May 9, 2016 at 11:40 pm

    Thank you for this story had a very similar experience and spend 3 days in the hospital last November. I had no clue what was going on as I’ve always been active and my physician thought I was perfectly fine. Anyways, 3 clots in my left leg and 1 in each lung I’ve been very blessed but still have that fear of what if it is happening again. I will probably be on blood thinners for the rest of my life but nobody knows what has caused my blood clots. I don’t have any of the mutations. Thank you for your story!!

    • Brittney Berlingeri
      Brittney Berlingeri Posted on May 25, 2016 at 2:51 am

      the blood thinners will lesson your risk of blood clots again, I worry about even the slightest pain because I still don’t know what the new “normal” is for me, every nurse and Doctor I’ve been to has been in complete shock how massive my embolisms were in my lung. But we’re alive and we survived and that’s something to truly be grateful for on its own, clearly we are all fighters ? thank you for responding to my story ! it’s nice to not feel alone with this battle

  2. Traci
    Traci Posted on August 29, 2016 at 6:23 am

    The stress and anxiety during recovery is intense! I’m glad that you are alive! I’m 4 months into recovery and still trying to figure out what my life is going to look like now.. But I an grateful because the alternative is much much worse. Thank you for sharing your story!