Recognize the Signs of Blood Clots and Act Quickly: Patrick’s Story

Recognize the Signs of Blood Clots and Act Quickly: Patrick’s Story

It was the day after Thanksgiving last year and I was doing yardwork. I had been having breathing issues and was feeling lightheaded and tired over the past day or so. But I dismissed it as being due to the holidays and a busy work schedule.   

Around 3 p.m., as I walked up a set of stairs that I often ran up, I found myself unusually short of breath. I could not deny something was wrong. My wife took me to the hospital, where I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my lungs, or pulmonary embolism.   

That is the real problem with blood clots, as the symptoms are often discarded as being something else. You see, in October 2020, we lost our 16-year-old daughter Meredith to blood clots caused by oral contraceptives. We had thought that she was having allergy issues and, at 6,000 feet, we often have challenges with breathing.   

This was a mistake that she paid dearly for, as do so many others. Even though I had seen the symptoms and the ultimate impact blood clots could have on a person, even I cast off the notion that I was having the same issue as Meredith. I was full of, “Not me!”  

I had no risk factors for blood clots, and tests showed I have no clotting disorders. There is no known cause as to why I developed them.  

In terms of lifestyle changes, I have knocked off 15 pounds and try to walk daily. I’m on blood thinners now.  

We all must recognize blood clots happen to the young as well as old, to the healthy as well as unhealthy, and to those with risk factors or those who have none. It is about recognizing the symptoms and reacting quickly. I rejected the idea of going to the hospital at first, but it was my memory of that fateful night when we dismissed  our daughter’s symptoms that compelled me to take action. 


About Clots
Know Your Risk
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners

Share your story
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.

Additional patient stories



Medicate and Live Life


DVTs and PEs are More Common Than People Realize
marshall bonin

A Blood Clot is Nothing to Mess Around With