My name is Abigail, and I am 22 years old. Two years ago, in March 2020, I was diagnosed with a Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST).
I had suffered excruciating headaches
Throughout late 2019 and early 2020, whilst on a year abroad in France, I had suffered excruciating headaches and put these down to stress. Following a consultation with a doctor, nothing untoward was diagnosed. Due to the pandemic, I returned from my year abroad to my parents’ house in March 2020 - just in time! Less than two weeks later, having suffered from headaches and continuous vomiting all evening, I fell unconscious in my sleep. Thankfully my mum was with me and, suspecting something was wrong, called 111. An ambulance was dispatched,and I was rushed into hospital where I was induced into a coma for two days, remaining in hospital for a further ten. If the medics had not acted so quickly, it is highly likely that I would not be here today.
If the medics had not acted so quickly, it is highly likely that I would not be here today
The headaches I had been experiencing throughout the year were caused by mini versions of the thrombosis that eventually took me into hospital. My thrombosis was due to a mixture of the combined oral contraceptive pill, and severe anaemia caused by undiagnosed coeliac disease. This came as a shock to my family (and to me when I came round) but the signs had been there all along.
It is so important that people not only know the signs of thrombosis
It is so important that people not only know the signs of thrombosis, but also of the dangers of medication that is so readily available. I had been told of the risks of the pill, but given the slim chance of anything happening, assumed it would be fine and thought nothing more of it.
I am now fully recovered from my thrombosis. Luckily, nothing in my brain was damaged by the event and my body functions as it did before. So, to raise awareness of thrombosis in young people, as well as raise money for Thrombosis UK to continue to undertake research into conditions such as mine, in February 2022, just two years after my diagnosis, I ran the Northumberland Coastal Marathon. I want people who have suffered the same diagnosis to know that it can get better, and life can go back to normal!
It would be so easy for me to live in fear of my thrombosis recurring, but what good would that do me? I’m going to carry on going out and living my life to the full and would like to encourage and inspire others to do the same!
by Andrew Kennedy