Oxford, United Kingdom
Lacey Gradwell was a typical young lady pursuing her studies and enjoying sports such as hockey, tennis and rounders. Her life changed in January 2014, when she experienced excruciating pain in her left leg—pain that started in her calf and extended to her groin.
At first she thought it was just an annoying sports injury, but when the pain continued into the next day, she realized that it was more than that.
Not taking any chances with what was an obvious problem, she convinced her boyfriend to take her to the hospital. Lacey was given a battery of tests and heparin therapy administered. The good news was that her lungs were clear of clots, but her leg was dotted with blood clots, any one of which could break off and pose a threat to her life.
It took Lacey several months to recover—hobbling to her university classes on crutches and taking blood-thinning medications. After six months, her left leg just about returned to normal, with the swelling subsided and the pain reduced.
Though she cannot participate in many of the sports she previously enjoyed, she is staying active. In 2014, Lacey raising money for Thrombosis UK (formerly Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity) by climbing the three highest peaks in the UK.
Apart from using birth control pills, Lacey had no risk factors that would signal that she was a candidate for deep vein thrombosis.
"What's important to remember is that blood clots can strike anyone at any age," she says. "Experiencing this scary event got me to realize that I must live every day to the fullest and giving back to the community. If I can help raise awareness of blood clots, I will be making a big contribution to helping others."