Survivor Spotlight: Karen Hogan

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I am Karen Hogan, wife, mother and daughter of The King, GOD Almighty. I met my husband through an April fools joke personal ad in a local newspaper. We foster adopted our 3 kids, they have been with us over 10 years and legally adopted for 5 years. I homeschool, eat organic, I go to church, and I love being at home.

January 8, 2015 I had surgery, at home 3 days later on January 11, I woke up midday feeling like someone was standing on my chest, heart racing, and knowing something was wrong. I went to the ER late that night. Early the next morning tests were run, a d-dimer blood test that measures a substance that is released when a blood clot breaks up, a ventilation-perfusion scan (similar to a CT scan, but I’m allergic to CT scan dye), and an ultrasound of my legs checking for further clots.  They also checked my heart to evaluate possible damage. All were showing I had a “clot shower”, I had so many clots they stopped counting. My heart showed signs of weakening, but there was no permanent damage. I stayed in the hospital for 4 days on a heparin drip. They ran multiple blood vials to check for a reason to my clots. It was discovered I have a genetic clotting disorder called factor V Leiden heterozygous (inherited from only 1 parent not 2). Once I was released from the hospital I had to heal from major surgery and the pulmonary embolism. To make things worse, I don’t metabolize medication well, and had to be on 6 months of an anticoagulant. By the grace of GOD and many prayers sent up on my behalf, and by my stubborn nature I was able to recover fully by the 1 year mark. It was hard to be so limited in that year. I swam to build up my cardio and strengthen my heart, and worked out with a trainer to build strength and restore my endurance. I now take nattokinase, a natural supplement, for blood clot prevention. I am fully aware of triggers and take measures to prevent clots. I have a new appreciation for my life, and try to live it to the fullest, enjoying every moment I have while I have it.

Some of my family has since been tested, my father is the carrier, and one (out of 3) brothers said he was tested and negative for factor V Leiden.

My plans for the future are to watch my kids grow up, continuing to laugh with my husband, grow in my relationship with the LORD. Last year I started to mark things off my bucket list, Hawaii was on top, I highly recommended going. I plan on running a spartan this year. And in the next few years I hope to take a cruise to Alaska marking 2 things off the list at once (cruise and Alaska). And I look forward to being a grandparent in the distant future.

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