Hi, my name is Paige and I’m 22 years old.

In around December 2021, I had just turned 21 I started getting abdominal pain and it was very painful, I also wasn’t able to keep any food or fluids down

I visit my A&E six times in the next month and a half

I visit my A&E six times in the next month and a half and every time I had a blood test, I was told they’re fine I just have a stomach bug and sent on my way. Then in February 2022 I went up, and again was sent home, but my mum took me back up just a few hours after getting home as I had bleeding from behind and was getting very unwell, quickly.

From there it’s a bit blurry as I was so unwell, but after getting to A&E again, they finally did a CT scan, they told me I had two blood clots, one on the vein near my liver, and the other to my bowel. Both were huge and restricting blood flow, MASSIVELY. I was admitted and given strong pain meds, a catheter, and a tube as I couldn’t eat or drink, I was there for less than five hours before they called my mum and told her to come up and essentially say goodbye as I was being blue lighted, 170 miles away to a hospital in London, and they weren’t sure if I was going to survive. I was in London for three weeks in the ICU, I remember a doctor telling me how unwell I actually was.

I was terrified

During my stay I had a PICC line fitted, I couldn’t eat or drink anything, I was on strong pain medication and they started me on some strong blood thinning medication via PICC line, this didn’t work and also made me bleed from behind, my nose, and throat. They had to operate, I had surgery which involved a stent being placed into my liver and bowel and directly given the blood thinning medication. I vaguely remember signing the form and then telling me that there was a possibility I could not wake up. I was terrified. I had this surgery three days in a row, as the first and second times weren’t successful. I had TPN for a short while and then after that I had to slowly start eating and drinking.

Three weeks had passed and I was finally ready to go home, on blood thinners for life but ready! My doctor was amazing and said to me that there was a very small chance my bowel may have been badly damaged and may cause a problem but she had only had that 1 time in her time.

Every single bump made the pain agonising.

Anyway, three weeks after being home I start getting stomach pain again, I go to A&E get told I had an infection on my bowel, sent home with antibiotics. The same thing again a week later. Then all of a sudden I was laying in bed the pain I got was so bad I screamed. I couldn’t move I was in agony, the drive to the hospital was horrendous. Every single bump made the pain agonising.

In A&E I had a CT scan and was told it was fine, they were just going to keep me in one night to get the pain under control… well the next morning my temperature is 39.9, pain is still there and again, can’t eat or drink. Yet the surgeon was insisting I’m fine and my scans are clear, 10 minutes later another surgeon came over to me and says London have seen your scans and we agree that you actually have a perforated bowel. London wanted me there to have my surgery but again, they didn’t have time and didn’t think I’d make it. I was told there was a 99% chance I would wake up with a stoma bag and I had to hope it was just temporary, within 20 minutes of finding out I had the perforated bowel. I was in theatre.

I woke up confused, I had the tube down my throat and could hear doctors all chatting, I thought I’d woken up in the surgery, I couldn’t talk or move. It was scary. They took the tube out and managed to sit me up, I asked what the time was, and it was 2pm on a completely different day. I had been in an induced coma because during my surgery I was bleeding too much, they had to leave me and operate when I was more stable! I managed to avoid having a stoma though.

Anyway, another few weeks of recovering and getting better and again I was out of the ICU and home! The blood clot near my bowel caused too much damage which essentially narrowed my bowel until it exploded.

I had my staples removed on the 17th April 2022, and the wound re opened, I had to get it packed everyday for months, and even now, Feb 2023, it still hasn’t closed and the scar is going to be horrible.

Encourage someone to stand up for themselves if they feel something isn’t right!

They never found what caused my clots, and I’ll always be scared of them coming back.

But I’m hoping that by telling my story that someone can feel less alone, or even encourage someone to stand up for themselves if they feel something isn’t right!