Jenny finished work on a Friday feeling good

Later that evening she thought she must have pulled a muscle in her shoulder… in fact this was the start of an agonising twelve months.

Despite trauma and loss, Jenny’s message is inspiring, “Stay strong, listen to your body, express your feelings and get the support needed to get through this! We can do it together!”

April 2018

I began a new exciting career, training to become a pharmacy technician. All the years of studies finally paid off I was experiencing my prime of life.

June 2018

I finished work on a Friday feeling good, grabbed a bottle of wine and headed home to relax. Later that evening I thought I must have pulled a muscle in my shoulder but as the hours passed the pain increasingly intensified and now I was experiencing a horrific sharp stabbing pain in my lower left abdomen & upper right abdomen every time I sneezed, coughed or laughed. I took pain relief and went to bed. Two and a half days passed and I was hunched over from all the pain but I just continued my day as usual until I felt faint. I quickly lay myself on the floor and I passed out.  

I was diagnosed with bilateral Pulmonary Embolism (PE), unprovoked and so severe my left lung collapsed putting strain on my heart. I was then informed that I defied the odds of surviving due to the severity of the clots and also the amount of time I spent ignoring these symptoms.

She looks ghastly. What a dramatic weight loss.

August 2018 

I then had my second pulmonary embolism despite me receiving regular anticoagulation treatment, I had been prescribed a twice daily anticoagulant which my respiratory doctor and haematologist changed to a different anticoagulant. 

I continued to work as I didn’t want this illness jeopardising my new job. I felt exhausted all the time and really embarrassed about my horrendous breathlessness but ‘what doesn't kill you makes you stronger’ right? I began experiencing a massive decline in my mental health, I was already paranoid and embarrassed about my heavy quick paced breathing, but I started noticing and hearing nasty things from the general public.

‘She looks ghastly’ ‘

What a dramatic weight loss’

I took it very personal as I already felt self-conscious and insecure. But then my friends stopped asking me to socialise, eventually the texts stopped too. No visitors came to see me either I was alone, vulnerable, scared and heart broken.

September 2018

Then I lost my job. I was dismissed as I my illness did not comply with the company’s  fitness to practise standards. I felt so victimised. I am a 30 year old female, I lost my dream job, I could have (probably should have) died, I have a life threatening condition that isn't stable and my medical professionals do not have a clue how or why this happened.  Could things get any worse? YES.

My third PE, so I was scanned in several ways, x-rayed and a mass amount of blood tests. What is trying to kill me? INCONCLUSIVE. We don't know. We do know my blood clots for an unknown reason so I will now be on anticoagulation treatment lifelong. I was changed back to the anticoagulant I had first been prescribed.

December 2018

After a change of anticoagulant medication, I again was admitted to hospital with my fourth pulmonary embolism and pneumonia. My medication was changed to heparin injections with two forms of antibiotics.

I SURVIVED 5 PE’s, pneumonia, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, emergency surgery and a 30% blood loss. I DEFIED THE ODDS

January 2019

I needed to have an x-ray to determine if the antibiotics was clearing the infection. But I found out the morning of my appointment that I was pregnant!! I refused the x-ray due to radiation risks.

Delighted and overjoyed that I finally had something positive to focus on although my stress and anxiety elevated as I understood how poorly my health was. After seeking medical advice, I was comforted by the fact I was classed as a high-risk pregnancy and I would be monitored more closely.

Sadly a week later I experienced a tubal ectopic pregnancy and my fifth pulmonary embolism. As my fallopian tube had ruptured I was haemorrhaging. I needed emergency surgery. My fiancé and father were taken into a private room to be told; my pregnancy was a tubal ectopic, I was a class 2 haemorrhage patient who has had multiple unprovoked PE’s, a weakened heart, on anticoagulation therapy and my odds for survival were minimal. But we had no other option than to take the risk, hope and pray.

My memory of this felt like a scene from a TV hospital drama. The doctors/nurses were running down corridors, with me lying on the patient trolley, shouting to folk to move out the way, I was then introduced to the surgeons. I was given a consent form to sign to accept my awareness of the risks of this surgery procedure and also the high probability of fatality. In all honesty I was defeated. I’m totally exhausted of the constant pain, the limitations of this illness, the psychological and physical implications. I was in a way relieved if I didn't survive.

But I did survive. I woke up and had to face more pain (mentally and physically) be reminded that I lost my baby and half my reproductive system and my FIFTH clot. How bad can things get?!

TODAY – June 2019

I am actively seeking work. I haven't re-clotted since my medication changed to enoxaparin heparin injections and…..CONFIRMATION that we have stabilised my thrombotic disorder. As long as I follow my anticoagulation therapy accordingly, attend any medical appointments, tests and treatments then we are confident I will make a full recovery however this may take some time due to the scarring to my lungs and heart.

I needed to share my story. I SURVIVED 5 PE’s, pneumonia, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, emergency surgery and a 30% blood loss. I DEFIED THE ODDS.

We can beat it together, help raise awareness, fundraise for further research so one day we can ALL defy the odds.

Stay strong, listen to your body, express your feelings and get the support needed to get through this! We can do it together!