Millie’s Story

Hello, my name is Millie Murtagh and I am an 18 year old living in Limerick city. In early May I had purchased a skateboard and wanted to learn how to ride it. I was practicing one evening when I had fallen off and landed on my ankle. It was very sore and swollen so my parents took me to the university hospital in limerick. We soon found out that I had broken my ankle and that I would need surgery.

I then got surgery on the 15th of May in Croom, the week after, and I was happy that I could begin my process to recover. After my surgery, I was informed of the signs and symptoms of blood clots by the nurse that was taking care of me. I was given a compression stocking to wear on my cast free leg and prescribed blood thinners to prevent blood clots. The nurse had also told me that if I experienced any pain or discomfort in my calf to tell a doctor, she said that this was very important to do so. I took into account all of the signs and symptoms of blood clots but I didn’t think that they would affect me. I thought this up until a few days before I was due to get my second cast on. I had felt tightness and slight discomfort in my left calf ( the side of which I had broken my ankle). I remembered what the nurse had told me after my surgery and made a mental note to inform a doctor of this in the coming days.

When the day arrived that I was due to have my second cast put on I informed the doctor of the discomfort I had been experiencing, the doctor then sent me for an ultrasound to check for any blood clots just to be safe. To my surprise, there was in fact a small blood clot in my left calf and I was quickly prescribed a heavier dosage of blood thinners to treat it. I am very grateful and lucky to have had the nurse in the room inform me of the signs of blood clots, otherwise, I would have overlooked the pain in my calf and passed it off as a common pain because of the surgery. If it had not been for the nurse spreading awareness I could be in a very dangerous situation right now.

I think that It’s very important to spread awareness of blood clots because even prior to the ultrasound I thought that because I am young and was on medication, to begin with, that it wouldn’t happen to me but I was wrong and I want to thank the DVT nurse, the nurses, and doctors that I had visited for their immediate help and support with me. The help and support are available for everyone and awareness has got to be spread so vulnerable people can avail of it. I think that it’s very important to come forward and make certain that you haven’t a blood clot even if it is just a minor symptom because, like me, it can save your life.