PEORIA, Ill.– More than 200,000 people die in the United States each year due to blood clots. That’s more than aids, cancer and car crashes combined.
In 2013, Deveraux Hubbard II, of Peoria, was a 19-year-old sophomore at Southern Illinois University, and an eagle scout of Boy Scout Troop 219.
On December 16, the young man packed with potential, died from a pulmonary embolism caused by a blood clot.
After losing their son to a blood clot, the Hubbard family has made it their mission to educate, and prevent blood clots in the community. They started the DH2 foundation, which aims to do just that.
“We just felt like we needed to lean in to understand it more,” said Deveraux Hubbard. “The more we learned, the more we thought we needed to share this information with others so they don’t experience the pain that we did.”
The Hubbard Family has taken their personal heartbreaking experience with blood clots and turned it into a powerful tool to help others.
“We knew there was nothing we could do to change our circumstances but it was very important for us…for us to try to help somebody else,” said Kristie Hubbard.
Each year, the family hosts the “Run, Walk Or Trot 2 Stop Blood Clots.” Jorica Davis is a family friend and has participated in the race since it began six years ago.
“I was actually there when he was born,” said Jorica Davis:. “I’m also a sorority sister and a nurse. So this is very near and dear to my heart.”
As the Hubbard’s continue to keep their son’s memory alive, they’re also making a difference in the community.
“Every year somebody tells us that someone in their family or they themselves are alive today because of what they learned from our foundation,” said Kristie.
“This is near and dear to them to promote so this doesn’t happen to someone else,” said Jorica. “So the awareness is really what the foundation is about.”
Blood clots do not discriminate. They affect people of all ages, race and gender. One of the most important things you can do to prevent blood clots is to know if you are at risk. The risk factors for blood clots include:
- Hospitalization for illness or surgery
- Major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, knee
- Severe trauma, such as a car accident
- Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or severe muscle injury
- Hip or knee replacement surgery
- Cancer and cancer treatments
- Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch or ring
- Pregnancy, which includes the six weeks after the baby is born
- The use of hormone therapy, which contains estrogen
- A family history of blood clots
- Confinement to bed or wheelchair
- Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
- Age 55 or older
- Long-term diseases such as heart and lung conditions, or diabetes
Recognize Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots
There are several important signs and symptoms of blood clots. If you can recognize these signs and symptoms, you can save your life or the life of a friend or family member.
Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Leg or Arm (Deep Vein Thrombosis or DVT)
- Pain or tenderness not caused by injury
- Skin that is warm to the touch
- Redness or discoloration of the skin
If you have these signs or symptoms, alert your doctor as soon as possible.
Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Lung (Pulmonary Embolism or PE)
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or lying down
- Coughing, or coughing up blood
- Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat
Seek immediate attention if you experience these signs or symptoms.
If you need help finding a doctor who specializes in blood clots or blood clotting disorders, please visit here.
Blood clots are preventable and can be safely treated. You can reduce your risk by learning some of the best ways to protect yourself from life-threatening blood clots.
- Know your risk for blood clots.
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of blood clots.
- Tell your doctor if you have risk factors for blood clots.
- Before any surgery, talk with your doctor about blood clots.
- See your doctor as soon as possible if you do have any symptoms of a blood clot. Blood clots can be safely treated.
- Get up and move if you’ve been sitting for a long time or traveling for a long time by plane, train, or car. Stand up, walk around, and stretch your legs every two to three hours.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Don’t smoke or take steps quit smoking
If someone you know has made made an impact on the community, please nominate them to be a CI Hero by clicking HERE.