This month, the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) recognizes Allie Huffstutler and Christina Florence as our February Volunteers of the Month. Both are blood clot survivors who recently became monthly donors, and we are grateful to them for their ongoing commitment to our cause.
Allie became a monthly donor to honor her blood clot experience. Allie had trouble breathing for about two weeks before seeking medical care for what she thought was a pulled muscle. The physician’s assistant at a quick-care clinic referred her to urgent care, where the doctor calmly and swiftly referred her to a colleague at the local hospital for a second opinion. Once at the hospital, things began moving rapidly as ER doctors asked many questions. Allie was taken to the ICU, and that is when she saw how serious her situation really was. While the psychological aftermath of Allie’s traumatic experience persists, she is thankful that after one-and-a-half days in the hospital, she was sent home on blood thinners to take for the next six months.
Allie spoke with a counselor about recurring vivid dreams she was having. She kept thinking about when the radiologist told her, “You have blood clots throughout your body and in your lungs. I’m not sure how you are alive right now.” Allie was finding it difficult to get those memories out of her mind. Her counselor suggested that Allie acknowledge and honor her experience. Allie often does this by simply taking time to think about that day, going for a walk, talking with a friend, or donating to NBCA, an organization with a cause that she cares deeply about.
Christina decided to become a monthly donor because she was seeking the the love and support of those people who shared her blood clot experience, and who could empathize with her. Christina notes that her experience with NBCA has been extremely positive, and her goal with making a monthly donation is to help NBCA continue to educate doctors, nurses and the general public about the impact blood clots can have.
Christina has her BSN in nursing, so she was aware of pulmonary emboli, but did not realize the impact they have on so many young women. Prior to being diagnosed in November 2018, she had been to the ER three times with a rapid heart rate. Christina was told she had anxiety, and the ER staff did not order any blood work or tests. Christina was persistent in seeking care, and finally, during her third ER visit, another doctor diagnosed her with blood clots in her lungs. Christina sought support for anxiety and depression following her diagnosis, and even joined the NCBA online community. She shares, “The support there is amazing and is a great source of therapy for me.”
Monthly donations to NBCA are especially valuable because they are a reliable source of income. When you join Allie and Christina as monthly donors, your recurring gifts will provide dependable support that we can count on throughout the year and focus on spreading awareness to Stop the Clot®.