It Was Impossible to Know That a Deadly Clot was Developing: Jeff and Abigail’s Story

It Was Impossible to Know That a Deadly Clot was Developing: Jeff and Abigail’s Story

My husband Jeff passed away suddenly from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that developed into a pulmonary embolism (PE) 19 days following ankle surgery to repair a fracture. There were no warning signs. He was an active and healthy 52-year-old with no history of any clotting disorders.  

His leg was wrapped from the foot to just below the knee with only his toes sticking out. After the surgery, he was on a low-dose aspirin regimen to help prevent clots from developing. He had numbness in the leg from surgery, which may have prevented feeling any pain due to the DVT. Coupled with the lack of visibility and post-surgical swelling, it was impossible to know that a deadly clot was developing.  

Three days before his first post-op follow-up appointment, Jeff was returning from the restroom on his crutches when he became short of breath. It took less than 10 minutes for him to become unconscious from the clot breaking loose and lodging in his lung. Despite heroic efforts by paramedics, he was unable to be resuscitated.  

Our lives have been changed forever. Additionally, my son is now aware of the risk he may carry for blood clot formation, although he hasn’t undergone any testing yet. 

My advice is to be proactive and don’t talk yourself out of seeing a medical professional if you think something is wrong. It is better than waiting too long and having it be too late to treat. 


Blood Clots and Orthopedic Surgery
Know Your Risk for Blood Clots
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

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