Blood clot killer that can strike you down anytime

By in Health

A Mother of three and part-time 999 call-handler from Headley is set to become the face of a national awareness and education exhibition launched by charity Thrombosis UK.

Lindsay Judge, 36, who was born in Milford, spent much of her childhood in Headley and now lives in Ash Vale, suffered a devastating blood clot in 2015 following the birth of her third child Amelia.

The clot, which stretched from her thigh all the way to her belly button along a major vein, left her unable to walk for nearly a month and needing to take blood thinning medication daily, despite being only 35 years old.

She still suffers with cramps, numbness and pain more than a year later but acknowledges that she’s been lucky.

Lindsay told The Herald: “It never occurred to me that I could be at risk of thrombosis.

“I was given blood thinners after my daughter was born and I thought that was that.

“Then, gradually, I developed excruciating pain in my legs to the point where I couldn’t even roll over in bed let alone walk – not ideal with a newborn and two older kids to look after!

“I know I’ve been extremely lucky, but not everyone is. That’s a pretty scary thought which is why awareness needs to be raised.”

Lindsay experienced a blood clot after an emergency caesarean section.

Although she was aware that there was a risk of DVT, she had no idea what the symptoms might be or what to look out for.

So when her hips were aching persistently for several days she simply assumed it was a post-op infection. And then when her leg started to swell she didn’t know what to think.

It took two days for the clot to finally be diagnosed, which resulted in a stay in hospital with her 16-day-old newborn, stranded in bed as she couldn’t even sit up unaided.

Now Lindsay has to think daily about the little things taken for granted beforehand – from putting on socks to how she sits on her chair at work to prevent her leg going numb.

Lindsay’s story will now feature at the centre of a new photography project, ‘Thrombosis Through The Lens’, bringing together thrombosis survivors to share insight into the devastating impact this little known but potentially fatal condition can have.

The project is the brainchild of professional photographer Adrian Dewey and thrombosis patient and advocate, Christina Perkins. It aims to capture the human faces of thrombosis, and to share insight into the impact blood clots leave even when the person may look so well.

Christina said: “Blood clots can happen to anyone of any age or gender – even people like myself who were considered fit and healthy.

“I have too many friends whose lives have been changed forever because of a blood clot; but this needn’t be the case.

“Many clots can be prevented – or, if they occur, be diagnosed quickly so that effective treatment can be given to avoid harm or even fatality.

“We want to raise the awareness of blood clots because when symptoms are more commonly known lives can and are saved.

“To look at these photographs you would never know that every participant has faced their own mortality even to the point where they were not expected to survive.

“We may be fortunate survivors, but we all take anticoagulants (blood thinners) – even though many of us are only in our 20s and 30s and blood clots continue to impact everyone’s lives.”

Most people think blood clots happen to older people, or those already ill or frequent flyers.

But according to Thrombosis UK that is incorrect, and the lack of awareness is leaving many people at risk.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Thinking ‘thrombosis’ means there is more chance of being found earlier – delay or mis-diagnosis can, and does, cause fatalities.

“The survivors in ‘Thrombosis through the lens’ could be you, your friends or your family.

“Taking a moment to learn about thrombosis could protect your whole future.”

• For more information visit www.thromboisuk.org

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