I am a Survivor, and I am Proud: Kaitlyn’s Story

I am a Survivor, and I am Proud: Kaitlyn’s Story

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.

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