Gillain’s Story

On the 9th of April 2018, a blood clot changed my life. A night I can’t remember but I will never forget. I had a rare type of blood clot called Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis-a blood clot in a vein in my brain- made more complicated as it was found in an abnormality in my brain which I never knew I had called a DVA. This caused me to have a stroke & seizure which in turn caused me to fall resulting in a fractured skull & brain hemorrhage. So I had a stroke & a brain hemorrhage on the same night because of the blood clot in my brain.

My first little boy Charlie was only 4 months old when this happened (he is now 2). I spent 6 weeks in 2 hospitals. I went through intensive rehabilitation to learn to walk again, talk again, and build myself up. I suffered both traumatic and acquired brain injuries because of this stroke. They later found on imaging that this was actually the second clot, I had a clinically silent one at some stage before. To help dissolve the clot and prevent further clots from forming I was put on and will be on anticoagulation therapy-m for life-a blood thinner called warfarin. These tablets thin my blood. It was difficult being put on blood thinners at the age of 29 as they have side effects & limitations of their own but ultimately I was glad that they could offer me something that would help keep me safe and be there for my little boy. My local warfarin clinic & the nurses there have been fantastic in helping me to manage my journey on warfarin.

I first heard of Thrombosis Ireland through the warfarin clinic and was delighted to find that they held seminars on blood clots and have support groups. The anxiety and fear that comes from having a blood clot that could have been fatal can be a scary and lonely one so it was great to meet and talk to other people who have been in similar situations. They have done great work in spreading awareness and advocating for people who are in this situation. We need to help to spread the word on the dangers of blood clots. I am especially passionate about educating young people on the potential risks of blood clots from taking contraceptive pills and the risk of blood clots during & after pregnancy as both of these were factors that contributed to my blood clots. As my granny always said prevention is better than cure!