Real Stories from People Who Have Experienced Blood Clots – Beth Waldron

Beth’s Story

Beth Waldron and her son Evan with the UNC team mascot—a ram named Rameses.

Beth Waldron is program director at Clot Connect. She is shown here with her son Evan at a University of North Carolina football game with the team mascot—a ram named Rameses.

I developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and bi-lateral pulmonary embolism (PE) in 2003 at the age of 34.

My clots were not immediately diagnosed. Neither I nor my health care provider recognized my symptoms as due to a blood clot. The leg pain associated with my DVT was initially attributed to a pulled muscle. The chest pain and shortness of breath associated with my PE was initially diagnosed as a respiratory infection for which I was prescribed antibiotics. Only after a second painful PE episode nearly a week later were the correct diagnostic tests performed and an accurate DVT and PE diagnosis obtained.

I was hospitalized for nine days during which time testing revealed that I have a genetic predisposition to clotting: I am homozygous for the Factor V Leiden mutation. This mutation, along with starting oral contraceptives, likely contributed to my clotting episode. Today, I remain on blood thinners and will likely do so for life. Fortunately, I am doing very well and in good health. I feel very fortunate to have survived my clotting episode and am fully recovered. As a result of my experience with blood clots, I am now heavily involved in promoting greater blood clot education for both patients and health care providers.

CDC would like to thank Beth for sharing this personal story.