The Day that Changed My Life: Philip’s Story 

The Day that Changed My Life: Philip’s Story 

My name is Philip Begley, I am 56 years old, and I live in England. My story began on November 22, 1999. My truck was in for MOT annual service, so my boss said to start work late the next day. The next day came, Tuesday, and I was sitting down, putting my boots on for work. Then I had an excruciating pain in my chest. On a pain scale of 1 to 10, it felt like a 40 at a minimum. The time was 7:15 a.m. At 9:20 that same morning, I woke up in hospital because I had a blood clot in my lung, a pulmonary embolism or PE. The consultant said the size of the blood clot was around one inch and was in the left branch of my left lung.

When admitted to the hospital via A&E, I was told I was blue over most of my body because I was receiving only 25 percent of the oxygen I needed. The consultant told me it was the biggest clot he had seen in 20 years.

Later, I was seen by a hematologist who informed me I had thrombophilia, or prothrombin gene mutation 20210A. This particularly rare strain had been documented in other patients only three years previously. After 11 days in the hospital, I went home, and I was told to rest for four weeks at a minimum.

That day changed my life. I have permanently damaged rib muscles and lining in my lung. I found out my uncle had died from a PE and my grandad had DVTs most of his life, but he never had a PE. They found a second clot behind my left knee on follow-up visit. My job as HGV driver was a contributing factor, my consultant said it is like economy class syndrome, or flying long distances in a very small space, without moving around.

I previously was away, driving in my lorry, or truck, for five and half days each week, for 50 weeks a year. A job I loved almost killed me, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. My youngest daughter has the gene, so knows to be aware of blood clots. I have worked from 16 to 39 years old, but now, I am unable to do so ever again. I’m alive, and I have seen my girls grow up into beautiful adults. My one downside is not being able to truly support my family by working.

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