Jessica, a 44-year-old wife and mother of two children, is an avid hiker that enjoys finding new outdoor adventures with her family any chance she gets. A native of Northwest Indiana, Jessica works in alumni advancement for a local university, and is fortunate to cover multiple states in her role that allow her to explore several parks and trails during her business travel.
In early April, Jessica received her coronavirus vaccine and became noticeably short of breath soon after her vaccination. As a healthy, active individual without any history of illness, she attributed the shortness of breath to seasonal allergies and continued with her daily activities.
Jessica and her husband, Bryan celebrated their 19th wedding anniversary in late April with a hiking trip to Southern Illinois where they enjoyed long hikes ranging from five to ten miles each day. Her shortness of breath was bothersome during the trip, but she managed to complete the getaway without complete discomfort and planned a visit to her primary care physician when they got home. Her doctor believed she may have pneumonia and prescribed steroids, Z-Pak and an inhaler to help with her breathing.
Shortly after her visit, she developed a severe cough and pain in her lower back along with the shortness of breath that was getting worse. It became difficult to walk and sit down without having a severe coughing fit. Lying flat was the only way to get comfortable.
On May 6, Jessica’s daughter found her passed out in the bathroom. Her daughter woke her up and immediately drove her to the emergency department. A CT scan showed a large blood clot in her lungs and an echocardiogram showed a clot-in-transit in the right atrium of her heart. Dr. Sandeep Sehgal, Interventional Cardiologist, consulted Jessica as soon as the CT and echo were completed.
“Jessica presented with a massive pulmonary embolism and right atrium clot-in-transit. Her oxygen saturation was 85% on arrival to the Cath lab. If untreated, there was 100% chance of mortality. We needed to intervene right away to remove the clots from her pulmonary arteries and right atrium.” – Dr. Sehgal
“I was shocked with my diagnosis. I thought I could justify all the reasons for my shortness of breath, cough, and back pain over the prior weeks. Never did I think blood clots would be the primary reason for my symptoms.” said Jessica.
Jessica was brought directly to the cardiovascular catheterization lab where Dr. Sehgal used FlowTriever to aspirate the blood clots. The procedure was complete in one hour and her symptoms immediately improved while on the table, including a significant increase in her saturation levels that reached 98% at the end of the procedure. “I remember being able to fill my lungs with oxygen for the first time in a month. It was instantaneous. It felt so good to take full breaths again.” said Jessica about her immediate symptom improvement.
Jessica is grateful the stars aligned for her that day. She is thankful for Inari’s technology and representative, and for Dr. Sehgal prompt decision making that saved her life.