Worcestershire, United Kingdom
At 52 years young, Ian Jackson has everything in the world to live for—four grown children, three grandchildren and his wife Jayne, who has been ‘my partner, best friend and soul mate for 30 years.’ But for nearly a decade, Ian has been dealing with a medical crisis that he never saw coming.
“Just before my 44th birthday, I was diagnosed with the first of three pulmonary embolisms (PE),” Ian says, who learned some family members have had problems with varicose veins, but no one with this condition. “In short I can clot at any point whether my blood is thick or thin, and normal blood thinning medications do not stop it.”
In 2006, Ian’s life changed forever when he was misdiagnosed by several physicians, after collapsing at home from his first pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung). Ian remembers experiencing pain in his right calf, severe swelling in his leg and had difficulty breathing. He was originally diagnosed with a ‘strained achilles tendon’ and the onset of asthma. He was told he showed no clotting activity in his leg. Since Ian had no known family history of thrombosis at the time or led a lifestyle that would make him prone to thrombosis, he was put on a regimen of blood thinners for three to six months, and told it would be sufficient for someone of his age with no medical history of thrombosis.
Says Ian, “In fact, it was the next three months which indicated how much a problem this was going to be for me for the rest of my life.” Four months following his first PE, Ian was diagnosed with a second PE, and experienced terrible swelling in his legs and shortness of breath despite being on blood thinners.
Ian spent a long time in the hospital and endured many medical tests to see why he was clotting so often. None of the tests were definitive so he was placed on a twice daily course of blood thinners. Ian’s doctors became concerned over his potential long term use of a certain blood thinner and concluded if an ultra sound scan showed no further clotting he could go back to taking just one blood thinner.