A Stressful Week With A DVT And A Venous Embolism

On Saturday the 11th, Sarah came to me complaining of her leg hurting very badly. She actually said it was killing her. I looked at it and realized it was rather swollen and very discolored. I took her shorts off and compared her two legs and her left leg was extremely swollen and purple. I told my husband that we were going to the emergency room immediately. By the time we got to the emergency room she was having trouble walking on it and it had become even more painful. We were taken in immediately and an ultrasound was done. It revealed a blood clot in her leg. We were admitted and transferred to the pediatric floor. She was given a shot of blood thinner and pain medication and hooked up to an IV. She was still in a lot of pain and by this time was vomiting over and over and the swelling was going up into her abdomen. The hospital staff had actually never seen this in a child and was having trouble deciding what to do. They ended up calling another hospital and was told she needed to be transferred to the local medical college (Medical College of VA or VCU Health System). 
She was transferred by ambulance to MCV to the PICU. They immediately started assessments and she was reviewed by hematology, surgery, and interventional radiology and the PICU doctor. They did a CT scan and determined that Sarah had two blood clots  — one in her calf that was about 5 inches long and another one that ran from just above her knee into her abdomen — it was over 12 inches long. This was a very serious situation and we were astonished that a child so young would have this issue. 
Early Monday morning she was taken into surgery. They tried to do TPA to the smaller clot but it was unsuccessful. They went in and actually removed the larger clot above her knee and going into her abdomen. They placed a filter in her vena cava first to trap any pieces of the clot that might escape and go to her lungs. They also placed two stents in to keep her vein open and the blood flowing properly. 
After a few days Sarah was feeling much better and her leg looked almost normal. We had to stay in the hospital long enough to make sure she was stabilized and to get the dosage of her blood thinner correct. She is home now with the 5 inch clot still in her lower leg and on an injection of blood thinner in her abdomen every 12 hours. This will probably continue for at least 4 months  — maybe longer. She is scheduled for another ultrasound of her leg in about two weeks and will also have her blood checked then and also see interventional radiology. We will continue these follow ups until the clot has dissolved. I am so hoping that this clot will dissolve quickly and not cause her anymore problems. It is a little scary to me to think of her walking around with this clot in her leg — actually it is very scary to me. When the doctors came around on the morning after her surgery, one of them told us Sarah was a “Miracle Child”. 
This is one time I did NOT have my camera with me for obvious reasons, but several of my daughters took pictures of Sarah with their phones. Here are a few pictures of Sarah after her surgery and feeling a little better. 

This was taken the day before we went home and Sarah was feeling much, much better. 


  1. Oh my, so so scary!! Glad she is doing better! Praying the clot disapears!

  2. Thanks. We can use all the prayers we can get. This was very scary to me — even more so than her open heart surgery as I knew that time was critical. Now we just wait and pray and hope that this last clot will dissolve.

  3. oh my…so sorry to hear about your daughter. We will be praying that it corrects itself soon and for peace for you while you do her treatments and wait for it to resolve.

  4. Thank you so much — yes peace for me as I do tend to worry. Hopefully this will all resolve very quickly.

  5. oh wow! Thank you Jesus for protecting this sweet girl!! I'm so glad she is okay. Stressful probably hardly describes the situation I'm sure.

  6. Thanks so much Michelle. I would be so grateful if you would remember her in your prayers.

  7. What a good thing you took her in right away! Glad to hear she's feeling better, I'll be praying for sweet Sarah.

  8. Thanks for praying for her.

  9. Oh my, how frightening! I've never heard of this. Good thing you acted so quickly. I will keep her in my prayers.

    Sue H.

  10. Thanks, Sue. We appreciate your prayers.

  11. I have been praying alot for sweet Sarah. Tell her Ms Kim loves her and misses her….unless of course that will cause her to want to jump and dance, which I know she is NOT allowed to do right now and really wants to:)

  12. Kim, thank you so much for your prayers. It has been rather stressful for me — Sarah is taking it in stride but she really misses climbing trees and her rope swing. We just can't risk a fall right now. I will tell her you are thinking about her — she asks at least once a day when she can go to dance. I honestly have never seen her love an activity like she loves your dance class. I am being totally honest — it is the highlight of her week. I thank you so much for helping her and making her feel successful at something she loves.

  13. Oh my goodness, that's terrifying!!! I'm so sorry she went through that, so glad everything's okay.

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