Serious illness inspires woman to campaign for charity
A Berwick woman has launched a fundraising campaign after suffering severe health problems herself as a result of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Michelle Parkins was inspired into action after hearing of two young women who were killed by DVT.
She said: “In February 2015, I was diagnosed with DVT and a pulmonary embolism which I was very lucky to survive.
“These illnesses caused extreme strain on my heart and lungs due to breathing difficulties. It caused two of the chambers to stop functioning.”
She had been home six weeks when news broke about a young girl dying of the same illness.
“It turns out that the two deaths and my illness were all caused by the same thing – the combined pill,” said Michelle.
The combined contraceptive pill and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) both contain the female hormone oestrogen.
Oestrogen causes the blood to clot slightly more easily, so your risk of getting DVT is slightly increased.
“I was lucky that mine got caught in time whereas these other two girls weren’t so lucky,” said Michelle.
“I have been told that if I had left it just a day longer, I may not be here today.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
The i newsletter cut through the noise
“I am now 23 and it has been a very long and hard recovery, both physically and psychologically.”
Michelle held a bucket collection at Morrisons last month and is holding another fundraiser at the Black and Gold in Tweedmouth on Saturday, February 27, for Thrombosis UK.
She said: “I have decided to fundraise for this because it is a good cause but also because doctors are very dismissive about blood clots in younger people.
“As we can see from the news recently, it has devastating effects.
“I was sent away from the doctors when I first went with the problem saying I had a knot in my muscle, never any tests to decipher this.
“I am doing this fundraiser to raise awareness of the consequences this misdiagnosis can have and the recent news has made me all the more determined to make this event a success.
“Through this, I want to raise awareness so people can understand the symptoms of DVT.
“Hopefully, it will help save more lives in future through this awareness and raising money.”