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By Aditya Bhave, Freshman, South Forsyth HS, Cumming, GA, Member of Georgia Thrombosis Forum, an affiliate of NATF
You may know the gossip on a certain celebrity. You may know the secret crush or the true ambition of the celebrity. You might think that all these celebrities are immortal, or in the same manner, immune to any disease. However, think again, you will be wrong in thinking this way. I am talking about conditions caused by thrombosis, or a formation of a blood clot in the vessels.
Let us review actual life stories of some of these celebrities.
Take star tennis player Serena Williams, for example. She suffered from pulmonary embolism as a result of deep vein thrombosis. On the Tonight Show, she explained how surgery on her foot left her hospitalized and that led to the formation of a blood clot. After 49 weeks of hospitalization (she also suffered lacerations on the tendons in her foot and also developed a hematoma), she led herself to another victory. Serena thus showed a strong determination in not only her recovery from the thrombotic condition, but also in pursuing her passion in life, namely tennis, after the incidence. Serena even today tells her story to others to encourage awareness of these thrombotic disorders.
Many of the old timers must have seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” How would you like to know that the starring actor, James “Jimmy” Stewart died of complications due to a blood clot?
NBC Journalist David Bloom, well known for his reporting in Iraq, died when his DVT embolized into a massive PE. The North American Thrombosis Forum (NATF) has recently honored the late David Bloom and his wife, Melonie Bloom, for her efforts to raise the awareness of thrombosis.
The hit TV show “Law and Order,” has attracted millions of fans all over the country. Dennis Farina, the star actor, died of a blood clot in his lungs. Stacy (name changed to protect privacy) has suffered from a very dangerous condition of thrombosis in the brain vessels. Some of our volunteers are preparing to interview her in the summer about her experience.
Even politicians are affected by thrombosis. For example, Senator Renee Unterman of the 45th District of Georgia was affected by DVT. Frequent flying led to her clot (see her article entitled “Is a Politician exempt from getting an attack of DVT?” in e-thrombosis on www.thrombosis.org).
Hilary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, fought through a very deadly cerebral venous thrombosis. Former Vice President Dick Cheney developed DVT when he took a trip around the world. This trip consisted of over 65 hours of plane travel over a period of 9 days. Cheney, along with Clinton, are currently working to raise awareness for thrombotic diseases. John Connally, the former Treasurer of the US died of pulmonary embolism.
Some celebrities suffered from coronary thrombosis (commonly known as heart attack) : Nikola Tesla, the reason we have modern electricity systems, and Charles Darwin, the evolution man, both died from thrombosis in the coronary arteries. Other people include even the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge. Shortly before his death, he often complained about his ragged breathing and indigestion. It was finally concluded that he was suffering from coronary thrombosis.
Celebrities may have it all: money, power, glory, fame. However, they are like us, when it comes to being mortal, which includes suffering from diseases that we do. It should be noted that celebrities are just as prone to diseases such as thrombosis as we are.
I am a proud member of the Georgia Thrombosis Forum, an affiliate of NATF. NATF is doing a phenomenal work to raise the awareness of thrombosis in the community, and I am excited to be a part of this team.