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Monday, April 24, 2017
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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Patient Story:
An Interview with Mark Hackley

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) & pulmonary embolism (PE) patient Mark Hackley

Marie B. Walker
March, 2007

Recently Mark Hackley took the time to share with me the story of his experience with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Mark is a 45 year old singer/songwriter living in Waynesboro, VA who suffered a pulmonary embolus in June 2006. "I want people to know that you don't have to be 65 years old like vice president Dick Cheney to suffer at DVT," Mark told me. "I was performing a private concert in northern Virginia last summer when, like Cheney, I noticed a dull pain in my left calf. After a day of much more intense pain in my right chest area I was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, most likely originating from a blood clot that formed in my leg," explained Mark.

During the 3-hour long concert, Hackley remained in an awkward position where, according to his hematologist, a new cowboy-style, calf-high boot most likely cut off or reduced the blood flow to his calf, thus allowing a blood clot to form. Months earlier he had suffered a severe muscle pull in his upper leg during a softball match. Sitting for long periods of time, injuries, and surgeries are all possible culprits for blood clots. There are a number of other risk factors for forming blood clots. You can find out more about your risk by using the DVT Coalition's Risk Assessment Tool.

Like most individuals who experience a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, Mark was treated first with heparin and then with warfarin (brand name Coumadin), which he continues to take. "I still have pain and swelling in my calf, even though a recent ultrasound showed everything was clot-free," said Mark. Like many patients who experience a clot, Mark appears to suffer from post-thrombotic syndrome, which is a condition of ongoing pain and swelling in the leg affected by the clot. This ongoing pain and swelling is caused by damage done to the valves inside the veins in the leg, so even if the clot dissolves completely, the pain and swelling may continue.

"Having a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolus (PE) is a very serious situation, and I want to help increase awareness of DVT and PE so that others may prevent blood clots before they happen. In an effort to help promote DVT Awareness, I am donating a portion of all my online CD sales to the National Alliance for Thrombosis and Thrombophilia," said Mark. His CD is available for purchase from his website at http://www.markhackley.com.

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Monday, April 24, 2017