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British Lung Foundation
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Massive Pulmonary Embolism Experience

I just wanted to share my experience, connect with others and just to say Hi...

I was a fit 46 years of age and on New Years day 2015, I collapsed suffering a life threatening Massive Pulmonary Embolism as a result of DVT through Flying. I was found in the bathroom by my two sons 14 & 20 who saved my life, trying to get me to breathe, putting me in the recovery position and called paramedics (who were brilliant and spent two hours in my flat trying to stabilize me). I had multiple blood clots on both lungs, a massive saddle clot across the pulmonary artery stopping blood from entering my lungs which put a massive strain on my heart. The Hospital couldn't believe I survived and said I should be dead which was quite weird as I kept thinking do you wifi in here so I can watch the football.

I spent 7 days in coronary care unit and where I was Thrombosis and given Alteplase a clot busting drug. I spent 7 months recovering at my mums (gain a stone) and had another episode in March which led to another 7 days in hospital.

I'm on Warfarin for life (no more drinking) and got secondary symptoms with Reflux acid which was the result of the body being in major trauma. I returned to work in August and still making good progress. I still get shortage of breathe, chest pains, dehydrated and very tired but I push myself to lead a normal life within my exercise tolerance. Being so close to death and having the experience of starting to slip away has been a life changing one but I think him upstairs was not ready for me yet or my very poor jokes.

cheers Jools

11 Replies

Well Jools you did well to survive all that and may you continue to make progress

Take care



Well, I probably should not reply. do not drink much now but have tonight. acid reflux red skinned apples chew slowly - nice not to medicate - I do both. Your sons grew up that night. All I can say is relatively early you are treasuring life. at it's best, this forum is very helpful. K


Good grief! What a thing to happen. Great that your sons did so well. Thank God you are still here to tell the tale, and I literally mean that. Some years back my sister had a pulmonary embolism. She was just 50, a primary school teacher, more or less just dropped down in front of her class. They got her through it. Didn't sound as bad as your condition. I don't fancy any of it. Thanks for sharing that though. If I ever fly again I will take many precautions. M

1 like

Hi Jools, I also endured (& survived) bilateral pulmonary embolisms just before Christmas. There is no obvious reason for mine, but I had kidney cancer about 12 mths ago so there may be a connection there. There is a very real fear of dying in nearly all P.E's and a lot of limitations following recovery.

The best part is actually surviving and getting to stay around a bit longer 😀😀

(I am 68, so a couple more lol)

I am pleased that you have recovered and are continuing to enjoy life.

Cheers Ngaire xx


Hi Jooles

So glad you had two wonderful sons who helped save your life that day, you are very lucky to have survived, your sons were very brave that day to keep their cool under such a frightening experience.

I was teetering on the edge of life and death when l was 28 , l am now 65.

You are right....it is a life changing experience. I see the world differently since that awful time in my life.

Even though l have COPD and Asthma, it taught me so many things, all of them beneficial. I hope it has had the same effect on you.

I appreciate every day l wake up.....l take enjoyment from the little things in life, l am a calmer person, l don't waste my energy being bitter and resentful, l have my moments, but l am quick to apologise or forgive.

I laugh a lot, and love my family deeply.

We are luck people Jooles, it wasn't our time, and while l can, l am going to Enjoy every second l have left.

Hopefully him upstairs has a long wait for me and you. 😂

Velvet xx

1 like

Hi jools and welcome. You are definitely meant to be here and may your good recovery continue. Xxx


Hi Jools, what an experience, and your sons were marvellous considering they were looking after their dad, so different when it's a loved one. Something they will never forget. So pleased you are now back on track and trying to leads normal life, cherishing every moment, you were so close but obviously a fighter, Well Done, keep it up.



I had a massive lung failure shortly after a flight from Malaga in 2008 I was in ICU for 32 days. It does change your attitude to life a bit.

Get well soon


Well Jools what a shock for you at such a young age to have a life changing incident then another one not long after. Take thinks slowly as I am sure with your willpower you will recover to some degree and learn to manage life differently, you have my every best wish for a healthier future, take care x


Hi Jools and welcome to the site my husbands job takes him all over the world spending hours on flights anything over 4 hours the company book him club class but they don't always. I'm pleased your ok must off really shocked you


Thank you all who have replied and wished me well in my recovery, your comments have been very comforting, I wasnt expecting so many replies ... Thanks agains Jools


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