Survivor Spotlight with Joni Rae Clayton Kalcow

I had foot surgery in the fall of 2013. I broke my foot again which meant a second surgery and complete immobility. With the OK of my doctor we took a 3 1/2 hour car trip to see my brother for Christmas. The day after we arrived I began having shortness of breath, lightheadedness and fatigue. Never suspecting how serious things were we continued with our visit for five days while my condition grew steadily worse. Then we began our return trek across the desert back home. After traveling 5 hours, I was feeling quite ill. Upon arriving home I collapsed into bed. The next morning I could only walk five feet. The afternoon of December 30th, once in the ER I was diagnosed with blood clots in my lungs and was admitted. The next afternoon I awoke from a nap feeling like I was suffocating. I called for help and 15 people were immediately there. They weren’t able to find a blood pressure for an hour. An EKG was done and blood clots were found in my heart. I was very close to death. A procedure called TPA was done. Lots of risks, but nothing to lose at that point. The procedure blasted the clots out of my heart within hours. After 11 days in the hospital I was able to go home … the most wonderful thing ever. It was a slow process, but I grew stronger each day. I am forever changed and I see things through new eyes. I am so grateful to God that I am alive, knowing things could have been so much different.

Six month update in June, 2014 … I’m turning 61 today. This past January I was fighting for my life with a 10% chance of survival. Many of my family and friends lifted me up in prayer and God heard and answered their prayers and healed my body. Today I am strong, healthy, grateful and loving life. I am feeling overwhelmed as I count my blessings ~ 1) my dear husband who meant it when he said “for better or worse, in sickness and in health” 42 years ago. He took care of me so well during my recuperation. What an amazing man he is. 2) my sweet children, Kris, Dani and Glo, who love me unconditionally and support me no matter what. I am blessed to be here to share in their lives. 3) and my precious grandbabies ~ God heard my request to remain here to love them, teach them and leave a legacy for them. Klayton has such a sweet, kind heart and I am so in love with him. Hazel is brand new, but has already captured my heart. I’m so grateful that God sent them to our family. 4) to all of my dear family and friends who cared for me and love me everyday ~ I thank God for you. You are each a treasure to me. I have been given so much and I have no doubt who the Giver is. I praise His name for His generosity and gift of grace and renewed health.

Three and a half year update in June, 2017 …It’s a wonderful life! I am now living in Arizona close to my son Kris, daughter Danielle, daughter-in-love Glo, grandson Klayton, granddaughter Hazel and yet another sweet grandson, Emerson, born in 2015! This extra time God has given to me is such a gift. I am enjoying every day. The joy that He blesses me with is unbelievable. NEVER GIVE UP!!!! Fight hard! Trust God! He knows best. He created you … He can certainly heal you. He can change your heart. He can change your mind. He can change your thoughts. He can change your life!There is life after blood clots! He has so much more for you to enjoy and do!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.