I am a Survivor, and I am Proud – Kaitlyn Baldwin’s Story

I am a Survivor, and I am Proud – Kaitlyn Baldwin’s Story

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 info@stoptheclot.org with questions about this matter.


I recently had my first encounter with blood clots. I was a rugby player who suffered many blows from both tackling and being tackled. After one particular blow to the stomach, I started having really bad pain in the small of my back, but assumed I had only pulled a muscle. A month later, I found myself on the floor of my kitchen, unable to move. After four hours in the emergency room, I underwent a sonogram that revealed I had multiple blood clots in my left leg. After being transferred to another hospital, they discovered I had even more extensive clotting in my right leg and a pulmonary embolism or blood clot in my left lung.

One week, a different hospital, and three surgeries later, I was diagnosed and told I was missing my inferior vena cava. With this diagnosis, I am no longer able to participate in any contact sports, because running is not a safe option.

I will have to wear compression stockings, and I will be on a blood thinner injections for the rest of my life. I must also spend most of my free time with my legs elevated because my blood has the inability to flow out of my legs, which makes being a full time college student almost impossible.

Most days I am scared I will end up back in the hospital. Other days I’m just happy to be alive. However, every day, I wish that I had known more about blood clots. I believe that if I had been more aware, I would have been more prepared to deal with my new life.

I wish to join the Stop the Clot community and bring awareness to the people around me, so that they can be prepared for anything life has to throw at them. I am a survivor, and I am proud.

The personal story 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 info@stoptheclot.org with questions about this matter.
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