We had been traveling throughout the Great Smoky Mountains looking for our forever home. We got back home to Florida, and on Sept. 3, 2020 at 10 p.m. I walked less than 100 feet to put the garbage on the curb. I looked up at the night stars and thought about how God did such a wonderful thing.
As I walked back to house, a disorienting light-headedness hit me. Using a grab bar installed for my dad, I pulled myself into my house.
My wife, Sara, heard me making odd noises and asked if I was okay. I collapsed with a saddle pulmonary embolism in front of her. Being a retired hospice nurse, she immediately performed CPR, which dislodged the clot and brought me back to life.
She called 9-1-1 and got upset when the operator started asking questions about COVID. The ambulance soon arrived and they loaded me into it. One of my saddest moments was watching her as they closed the doors.
They ran some tests and confirmed a saddle pulmonary embolism diagnosis. I learned later that I tested positive for factor V Leiden, a genetic blood clotting disorder. My siblings and some nephews also have Factor V Leiden, but none of my kids have it.
During the 90-minute procedure to remove the clots, they opened up my groin arteries and took out more than 30 clots.
Some were old, others were fairly new. After the procedure I had to lie still for an extended period of time so I didn’t reopen the arteries. I felt much better immediately.