Do Not Ignore Anything, Even if You Feel Like it’s Nothing: Eilidh’s Story

Do Not Ignore Anything, Even if You Feel Like it’s Nothing: Eilidh’s Story

A few days before my collapse, I felt a little out of breath when moving around. However, I had just got back from travelling around Thailand and I also had a sore throat, so I assumed I was just a little run down. I was wrong.

On March 22, 2023, I walked down the stairs feeling fine, then minutes later I couldn’t breathe. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get a breath in, my heart was racing, and I felt sick.

I ended up passing out and, being home alone, I had nobody to help. I woke up 30 minutes later still breathing very heavily as I felt like I was getting no air. My chest was painful, felt like it was being pushed down and I couldn’t stand up without nearly fainting. It took me 30 minutes just to move myself to my phone, which I had dropped when I collapsed.

I called my parents, who came straight to me, not knowing the severity of my condition. I waited on hold to my doctors for 20 minutes only for them to tell me to hang up and call for an ambulance. I was told a paramedic would be on the way, but it could take a while. I waited three hours while seriously struggling to breathe until my parents had enough watching me struggle and called 9-9-9 (emergency number in the United Kingdom).

I was rushed straight to hospital as a priority case, where they found multiple big blood clots in both my lungs along with severe damage to the right side on my heart.

I was immediately put on a heparin drip and went to ICU. Overnight I deteriorated and I was told that in order to save my life I had to undergo a thrombolysis, in which the clot is broken up to allow for better blood flow otherwise I wouldn’t survive. This was a terrifying thing to be told.

I was immediately underwent a thrombolysis, which was a very painful procedure and made me feel very unwell for days after. I also developed migraines from this and still get them to this day.

I spent a week recovering in the ICU then a further three weeks before discharge. I’m still recovering a year later. I still cannot walk for more than half an hour without getting faint. I also can’t take part in sports I love due to being on blood thinners. I am continuously aware of my heart beating too fast, and if it does, I need to sit down.

My advice is to educate yourself on the symptoms of blood clots and do not ignore anything, even if you feel like it is nothing.  The recovery process is a slow one, but you will get better if you never give up.


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Post-Thrombotic Syndrome

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