A Wauseon, Ohio teenager was looking forward to the start of the fall football season, but the night before his team’s first practice he unexpectedly found out he had a life-threatening medical condition.
WTOL-TV reports Kaden Clymer, a junior linesman for Wauseon High School, complained about severe pain in his back and legs. His father took him to the emergency room at Toledo Children’s Hospital on Aug. 1.
“His calves were swelled up four inches larger, in circumference, than they are now,” Clymer’s mother Maurine told the outlet. “So, he was very uncomfortable.” When doctors told the young man he had blood clots in both legs, the bad news caused all of his emotions about playing football to come to the surface.
“I was really sad. I was crying and upset because I’ve played football my whole life and I just wanted to play with my friends,” Clymer said. “Was just getting ready to start practice. We were really looking forward to seeing him on Friday nights,” his mother said.
Surgeons later removed six feet of blood clots from Clymer’s legs, according to WTOL. It’s unclear what caused the extensive clots in his body, but doctors diagnosed Clymer with a condition called Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Atresia. He’s still undergoing tests to determine the cause and treatment moving forward, the news outlet reported.
The disorder can be acquired or congenital in which the IVC — the largest vein in the human body — is either damaged, not fully formed, or missing entirely, according to the National Library of Medicine. The IVC vein returns blood back to the heart from the lower parts of the body, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The disorder can cause blood clots, or thrombosis, that blocks veins, causing intense pain. Thrombosis can also lead to pulmonary embolisms if a clot breaks up and travels to the lungs. Untreated pulmonary embolisms can result in collapsed lungs, heart failure, and even death, according to The Western Journal. Part of Clymer’s treatment so far includes getting blood thinner inoculations every day.
“He gets shots in his stomach every day, twice a day, which is not something fun,” Maurine Clymer said. “I don’t enjoy giving them to him and I know he doesn’t like getting them. Yet, he does it with a smile and we appreciate that.” She added, “It could’ve been so much worse.”
After more than a week in the hospital, and even though the teenager could barely walk, he came out to watch his team, the Wauseon Indians, practice for their first game. Instead of making things happen on the field, he’s now cheering on his friends from the sidelines.
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