In Memory of Theresa Marie Amanda Buccellato: Her Blood Clot Story

Categories: Blog,News,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 with questions about this matter.

Theresa Factor V LeidenNote: This is Theresa’s story, as told by her mother Laura Femia Buccellato:

My  story……….My 16 year old daughter Theresa came to me and told me she had  sexual intercourse for the first time.  I was not happy about it, but I was happy she came to me about it. She asked me about going on the pill, and yes, I made an appointment with my obstetrician, who also delivered my daughter.

We talked about options, and the doctor felt Theresa should go on a low dosage pill, called Othro-Cept. Theresa was on the pill for a month and a half.

Theresa was out with her friends in a pizza place, and all of a sudden she felt sick. She told her friends she had a headache, and put her head on the table. After a few minutes she started to get delirious and was growling in pain. One of her friends asked the waitress for help. The waitress knew my daughter; two days before this her daughter received an invitation to my daughter’s sweet 16 party. The waitress told them to put water on her face and that was it.

My daughter continued to get sicker and threw-up on the floor. Finally the waitress came over and instead of helping, told them that was gross and to clean it up. Finally one of my daughter’s friends called my husband (He is no longer my husband because of all of this). He said when he got there, Theresa’s head was on the table. When he lifted her face, she was soaked with sweat, eyes rolling behind her head, and turning blue. He then called an ambulance and called me. For 45 minutes she was in distress in the pizza place but no one helped her.

I got there 10 minutes later and she was out cold on the stretcher.  As soon as we got in the ambulance, they ripped opened her shirt and started CPR. I knew she was dead in the ambulance, but they still tried to revive her at the hospital.

The autopsy showed she had a blood clot in her leg, which caused a pulmonary embolism.  The clot was caused by the pill. We were told then that she had Factor V Leiden, and that our whole family needed to be tested.

It turns out she got it from me, and I never knew I had it, nor ever heard of Factor V Leiden. I am not sure if I got it from my father’s side or my mother’s side. I have read that people from the Mediterranean often get this, and my dad was born in Italy; but at 32 my mother also suffered a major stroke.

My sister, and two of her 4 kids  – one girl, and one boy – were recently diagnosed with Facto V Leiden too, but one of my nieces got it from both parents. After researching this condition, I found out a simple blood test would have told us my daughter was not a candidate for the pill. The doctor told me they never mention it to women and girls because insurance companies don’t cover the test; so, people are not given a choice to pay out of pocket. I was told only 1 out of 10,000 die from it so my daughter is just a statistic to them.

This disease killed my only child, my best friend.  I might still be walking around this earth, but in essence it killed me, and it killed her father also.

Take Home Messages

  • Blood clot  can kill 16 year olds. They do not discriminate.
  • Pulmonary embolisms can come on suddenly.
  • Pulmonary embolisms are a medical emergency.
  • Women on the pill need to know the symptoms of blood  clots and pulmonary embolisms.
  • If you are with someone who is in distress – with sudden severe headache, vomiting, and sweating, groaning in pain, and the inability to respond or hold up his or her head, call 911 immediately.
  • If a family member has had a blood clot, get tested for genetic conditions that put you at risk for getting a blood clot.
Author: admin

11 Responses to "In Memory of Theresa Marie Amanda Buccellato: Her Blood Clot Story"

  1. Lisa Rueb
    Lisa Rueb Posted on November 30, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I am Theresa’s cousin (she called me Aunt). I miss her more than words could say. It’s so frustrating that she died because of a blood test that SHOULD be an automatic for any female going on the pill. 1 out of 10,000 is NOT sufficient odds for any insurance company to say that this test is unwarranted. The insurance companies are ruining this country. Yes, we all need insurance but these greedy companies are causing deaths.
    I love you Laura, Theresa & Michael. I long for the day when we will all be together again.

    Aunt Lisa

  2. Sid
    Sid Posted on December 9, 2013 at 5:28 pm


    I am very sorry for your loss. Its heart wrenching to lose a loved one, i know. Pour your heart out and later Keep yourself busy and occupied. Take care.

    Lots of Love & Prayers from

  3. Factor V Leiden Awareness  | Reviews and News Posted on May 9, 2014 at 11:39 am

    […] Since my 16yr old daughter died from this disorder after going on the pill, I have learned my whole family has this disorder. I have been bringing awareness to this and many other people have been tested positive for it and never had any clue they had it. Below is a link to my personal story and many other links on how to try and prevent more people from dying from it. This is not something to take lightly, it is a serious disorder and can cause many complications like clots, strokes, miscarriages, and death. See here for more on the Factor V Leiden disorder […]

  4. Carolyn O'Daly
    Carolyn O'Daly Posted on July 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I bet your daughter is so proud of you for sharing her story and helping to prevent others from experiencing your tragedy. Some people are put on this earth to enlighten. Your daughter was one.

  5. Marie Galletta
    Marie Galletta Posted on July 8, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    I am reading Theresa Marie’s story with tears in my eyes, in this day and age this should not have happened. I too have a protein C deficiency. I got my first clot 3 days after my daughter was born in 1967. I got pregnant again in 1972 and got another clot shortly into the pregnancy and so again they thought it was due to the pregnancy. At the time three OB’s advised terminating the pregnancy. I got a third clot in 1989 because my back went out and I was pretty much stationary. At this time the test was available and so I have been on Coumadin. I am now 69 years old and thinking about Theresa and realize how fortunate I am. My Mom died in 1969at the age of 49 with a clot. My two brothers also have the deficiency. I hope that as time goes by it gets easier for you and your family.

  6. Tammy Vincent
    Tammy Vincent Posted on September 5, 2014 at 1:40 am

    My sister Terri. Passed away the same way April 23 2003 .. She went to the ER 3 times that week complaining of leg pain.. But sent her home told her to put the leg up .. Well she passed away 3am that morning. And she was on birth Control .also .. ..

  7. Luisa
    Luisa Posted on September 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    I am truly sorry for your loss. My thoughts & prayers are with your entire family. Your story brought years to my eyes. Sharing your story is going to save so many lives. I hope doctor’s offices will offer those blood tests to teenagers and women before prescribing the pill. We should have the choice. But you made me aware and I will spread the word. You are doing a great job. You’re daughter is always with you and is so proud of you. She will always be your angel. Stay strong.

  8. steven fischer
    steven fischer Posted on July 8, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Having a blood clot that travels to the brain causing a stroke does not neccessarily cause a headache. Some get headaches some get dizzy some have no symptoms For more information on bloodclots and stroke prevention you can contact the American stroke Association and Circle of rights for starters anyway As a stroke survivor I have learned too many things that I can hardly comptehend there’s lots of info out there including ptevention. But in this case you already know there’s a corrolstion between the clot and the pill and the genetic situation.

  9. Ck RN
    Ck RN Posted on August 18, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    Also if you take birth control pills do not smoke, the combo greatly increases your chance of blood clot. In 35 years working in healthcare, every stroke I have seen in a young woman on birth control, they were also smokers.

  10. Thankful
    Thankful Posted on August 6, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss! My boyfriend has this disease as well, this was years before we were together, but he told me the first major clot he has was when he was in seventh grade in his left leg. His left leg is about a third bigger than his right from the clots. It took YEARS for doctors to figure out what is was. Thankfully now it’s under control and he needs to take blood thinners of course. Finally he was approved by insurance to receive surgery that’s usually for varicose veins, for his veins in his leg. It has helped SO much!! He needs to wear compression socks daily to make sure things go well. I’m very thankful everything has worked out for him!

  11. Mandy Hemphill
    Mandy Hemphill Posted on August 23, 2016 at 3:58 am

    I just found out today that I have the Factor V leiden mutation. I have two genetic markers for this disorder. I had an unexplained DVT in January of this year which led to the testing. I have 3 kids, one boy and two girls. I am freaking out right now because my 17 year old daughter started the pill a few months ago! She lives with her father, and he probably won’t have her tested without a court order. I have been trying to get a rheumatoid arthritis test for 4 years to no avail, I don’t know what to do! My son is 22 and in the military, he is talking to the ships doctor tomorrow. My 7 year old girl already has an appointment for the test! Thanks to all of you for sharing your stories and compassion!