Recovery Has Been a Long Road: Jessica’s Story

Recovery Has Been a Long Road: Jessica’s Story

I had COVID for the first time in November of 2020. My symptoms were typical: fatigue, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath.   

Once I recovered, I had ongoing yet mild shortness of breath, so when it started happening more frequently, I wrote it off as just a symptom of long COVID. Looking back, I had pain in my left calf, but at the time I figured it was a pulled muscle.   

About a month later, I had severe shortness of breath coupled with an extremely erratic heart rate. I finally went to my town’s urgent care clinic, where they ran some tests and determined I might have a blood clot.   

At the ER, they did more tests and scans and determined I had a saddle pulmonary embolism straddling both lungs and it was so large it was putting pressure on my heart, which was causing the erratic heart rate and explained the shortness of breath.   

I was immediately taken to the cath lab and admitted to the ICU, where they administered a thrombolytic or “clot buster” drug to break up the clot that was causing blockage and restore blood flow.   

Recovery has been a long road. I am a runner and it took several months before my heart and lungs were ready for that kind of exertion, even on a small scale. Slowly but surely, I’m finally back to where I was pre-embolism, and I feel stronger every day. I owe everything to the awesome doctors and nurses in the ER and ICU that saved my life.  

Doctors believe the combination of my hormonal birth control and recent COVID-19 diagnosis were the contributing factors.  

Now, I am more aware of what my body is trying to tell me.  I am convinced that my conditioning helped save my life by giving me a stronger heart and lungs. I’ve dedicated myself to continue running to keep them strong. 


Athletes and Blood Clots
COVID-19 and Blood Clots
Signs and Symptoms

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