Sudden death is the first symptom in about 25% of people who have a pulmonary embolism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for 37-year-old KT Stovall, who learned he had a pulmonary embolism upon returning from a trip to Seattle this past Thanksgiving. His advice to others? Get up and stretch your legs.
The six hour flight without moving, is likely what caused the blood clots to form in his legs, said Dr. Amjad AlMahaheed, his cardiologist at the Novant Health Heart and Vascular Institute in Charlotte. Eventually, those clots traveled to his lungs and the situation became urgent. Had Stovall not sought treatment when he did, his story could well have ended differently.
“Everybody has that feeling of invincibility sometimes and you don’t realize your sense of mortality, but this woke me up” Stovall said. “As men we tend to sweep pain under the rug, we hide it. But don’t go on living with pain in your life. If something is wrong, get it checked out.”