The personal story below 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 the 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.


MySamantha's Picture name is Samantha and I am 20 years old. On April 12th, 2013 I walked into the emergency room (ER) thinking I had appendicitis. A week prior my 6’2″ friend sat on my back for while I played cards on the floor. Since then, I was having symptoms like nausea and an extreme shooting pain in my right side. The day I went into the hospital the pain in my side was so bad I couldn’t stand up straight.

At 9 at night I had my friend drive me to the ER. When we got there I told her to wait to fill out the paperwork until I got back from the bathroom. I went to the bathroom and threw up and immediately felt a little better so I was going to leave. Luckily when I came out of the bathroom my friend was filling out the paperwork. They took me back and did ultrasounds, CT scans, and x-rays, checking to see if it was my appendix or an ovarian cyst.

At 3 a.m. the ER doctor came back to tell me I had a substantial (about 6-8 inches) blood clot in my inferior vena cava (the vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart), and multiple blood clots in my lungs called pulmonary embolisms. Apparently, they had been growing since November, when I had a car accident. I was also told that I was lucky to be alive and because I was so young my smaller veins did extremely well at circulating my blood. This is also why I didn’t have any symptoms.

After a week in the hospital and what seemed like endless blood tests it was determined that I have a clotting disorder. They later found out that I had Factor V Leiden. That combined with birth control and the car accident in November caused a life-threatening clot to form. At 20 years old, I am a warfarin warrior and my entire world has been flipped upside down.

The biggest thing I have had to rethink is having children, for fear of passing this onto them. I was a seemingly healthy young woman with no worries. Now I take a daily does of warfarin and have to get my INR tested twice a week. Life is short and it shouldn’t be wasted. So for me there will be no more excuses. If I want to do something, like go back to school or even something simple like eat an ice cream cone, I will because we never know how long we have on earth and I don’t plan on wasting any time. If I go at any time I want to go with no regrets.

I would like to thank not only all of my doctors but the entire nursing staff, pharmacists, and everyone behind the scenes who typically don’t receive any thanks. It is because of all of you that I am still here today. Thank You.

Take Home Messages

  • Blood clots happen to young, seemingly healthy, people.
  • Birth control pills are a risk factor for blood clots, especially if you have Factor V Leiden.
  • Blood clots can happen as a result of trauma from a car accident.
  • Blood clots can act like other conditions – in this case, appendicitis or an ovarian cyst.
  • People usually don’t know they have a clotting disorder like Factor V Leiden until they have a clot.
  • Blood clotting disorders can be a life-changing experience.
Author: admin

2 Responses to "Samantha Letzkus’ Blood Clot Story"

  1. Crystal Simmons
    Crystal Simmons Posted on January 3, 2014 at 3:22 am

    Thanks for sharing your story! I had my first episode with clots (a dvt from my ankle up through my groin, and multiple pes in both lungs) a month before my 25th birthday. I didn’t have ANY symptoms of the PEs and when I went to the urgent care for my leg pain, it was near my groin, I was told I had sciatica! Days later my leg was so swollen you couldn’t see my knee or ankle, so I went back in, when they suggested I had a blood clot I thought they were crazy! Only old people get those! It is a crazy roller coaster ride. So glad you went in and got checked out though. It’s so encouraging to hear from more and more survivors!

  2. Camille Brummett
    Camille Brummett Posted on September 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    Wow! You are very lucky and I’m glad that you’re doing better. I (22y/o) have also been diagnosed with homozygous Factor V Leiden mutation and I have heard different things about whether or not Warfarin will be required for the rest of my life. Right now, I just finished up my Lovenox injections and am waiting for my body to develope the clots. I hope that I won’t have to take this medication forever, but it’s good to know that there are other young people out there doing it. Thank you so much for sharing your story.