My Family Was Told I Probably Wouldn’t Survive: Caitlin’s Story

My Family Was Told I Probably Wouldn’t Survive: Caitlin’s Story

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.

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