With Gratitude, Optimism is Sustainable: Todd’s Story

With Gratitude, Optimism is Sustainable: Todd’s Story

In 2011, I suffered the first of six blood clots. This was the start of my new life and a wake-up call heard loud and clear.

Little did I know during in the early days about the connection that would surface dating back to the day I lost my only parent, my mother, to a sudden-death pulmonary embolism in 1984 while trying to get her to the hospital. She was just 43. I was a young man and suddenly alone.

I suffered a few more incidents of deep vein thrombosis after warfarin failed to stop abnormal clotting. It was about this time that I was tested for clotting disorders. This was also when I could connect the dots back to my moms death. I was factor V Leiden positive and homozygous. I had not only inherited it from my mother, but my “never around” father also. This made me very aggressive as far as abnormal clotting.

That said, it took 45+ years for me to finally clot, but once the clot train started to roll, my blood just kept wanting to clot, and quickly. After finally having to bail on warfarin, I was moved to rivaroxaban just after FDA approval.

Except for a pulmonary embolism due to medical error in 2017, rivaroxaban has keep me clot-free for more than a decade. The PE was the result of keeping me off my DOAC for too long for a colonoscopy. When you are homozygous FVL and have already had five clots, stopping for three days with no bridge was a mistake. I clotted in 72 hours. I take part of the blame. I admit that I should have been a better self advocate, caught that red flag and called them out.  But, lesson learned, and it has help make me who I am today.

Now I am in the best shape and fitness of my life at 60. This entire ordeal has made me a better self advocate. It has also steered me to help others and raise awareness.

Today I mountain bike through the woods and I am a certified canoe and kayak instructor. Nature bathing is my go-to. I am fully recovered and living the dream. “With gratitude, optimism is sustainable.”


Factor V Leiden
Living Your Best Life on Blood Thinners
Know Your Risk

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


Tracy, Gerald Personal Photo.docx


Thrombosis Has Deeply Impacted My Family