ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - This is the sound of life. The sound of blood as it flows through a vein in Andrea Sanborn's leg. Her life threatening fight against a problem not often associated with young people started on a normal day at school.
"My right pant leg got tighter and tighter as the day went on. I got home, and I changed, and my leg was double the size of the other one, purple, very painful and numb."
Her mother Karen Sanborn says, "We went to the emergency room and were diagnosed with a groin strain."
But Andrea knew the pain was probably something else. "A week later I came back and I wasn't walking."
Finally, once transferred to All Children's Hospital, doctors here diagnosed her with deep vein thrombosis.
Her mother was both relieved and shocked.
"It was a complete total blockage from her ankle to her abdominal area."
Doctor Neil Goldenberg is the head of the All Children's Hospital and John Hopkins thrombosis program.
He says Andrea's condition ,"Definitely can be life threatening if proper treatment is not administered, mainly blood thinners. Then there's a high risk the blood clot can break loose and travel to the lung."
Goldenberg says while blood clots in children are rare, two groups are at higher risk, seriously ill kids in hospital beds and young girls on birth control pills."
"Andrea went on birth control pills in February, to control her acne and to regulate her periods. And it was less than two months later we had symptoms of the blood clot."
Andrea spent three weeks in the hospital - had three surgeries - complications arising from other internal health issues.
Finally - you can see how treatment worked - opening the vein letting the blood flow. She still has to monitor the vein and check on narrowing.
Andrea says, "The doctor said I can take another type of birth control without estrogen which makes my levels go up but I don't think we're going to do that."
Dr. Goldenberg heads up All Children's Hospital's new thrombosis program.
He's also participating in clinical research following patients like Andrea that he hopes will one day make treatments and outcomes for patients like her even better.
To learn more about deep vein thrombosis or the program at All Children's Hospital: http://www.allkids.org/body.cfm?id=1747