NicoleIn November 2020, I was 17 years old when I was admitted to the hospital with a deep vein thrombosis DVT) or blood clot in my left leg that had grown and travelled to my lungs, where it became a pulmonary embolism (PE).

The clots were blocking all of my circulation, but I couldn’t have surgery to remove them due to complications my medical team discovered that morning. My doctors warned that if I underwent the procedure to remove the clots I would have died in surgery. I have deformations of the channels connecting my heart and lungs; I have three instead of two. This condition causes me to have more blood than an average person and also increases my risk for blood clots.

I’m a healthy and active person, and to learn I have a blood clot and then find myself unable to walk, run, or stand up straight on my left leg for six weeks scared me so much. My hands still shake when I think about my condition, and I panic because it is not the last of it. Unfortunately, my doctors say that I’m prone to blood clots and this first experience will not be my last. I still have the marks, three years on, from where my veins have swollen and are pulsing out of my thigh.

As I continue forward with this risk, I hope to increase awareness about blood clots and help others learn from my experience.

Learn more about blood clots here.