Mom shares horrifying photo of 20 hidden blood clots removed from her leg


By Caitlin Tilley, Health Reporter For Dailymail.Com

16:03 15 Apr 2024, updated 17:42 15 Apr 2024

  • Starla Ellis, 30, from Dayton, Ohio, had recently given birth to her third child
  • Doctors initially found one clot and sent her home with blood thinner medication
  • But then her leg went completely stiff and doctors had to remove 20 blood clots 

A30 year-old mother has shared a horrifying image of 20 giant blood clots found lurking in her leg – a gruesome side effect of birthing a ‘whopping’ sized baby.

Starla Ellis, 30, from Dayton, Ohio, had recently given birth to a 9lb 10.5oz newborn, following a prolonged and agonizing labor, when she began feeling ‘excruciating’ pain in her right leg.

Doctors at the hospital said the pain was a result of a blood clot that likely formed due to pressure on the blood vessels in her lower body. 

The physicians sent her home with blood thinners – but she returned a couple of days later after her leg went totally stiff. 

Scans taken revealed she in fact had scores of blood clots in her leg that would prove deadly if they weren’t removed immediately.

Ms Ellis said: ‘I was terrified and I didn’t think I was going to make it out (of the hospital)’
Ms Ellis gave birth to her third child Amaris via emergency C-section after the baby got ‘stuck’

Ms Ellis said her third child Amaris, who eventually arrived via an emergency C-section in November, got ‘stuck’ in her vaginal canal – which led to excessive pushing before doctors decided to take her to the OR.  

After the birth, Ms Ellis went home as planned but the mother-of-three soon began to experience a ‘burning ache’ in her lower back, which then moved to her abdomen and into her right leg.

Ms Ellis said she first believed the pain to be her body releasing pregnancy hormones and readjusting in the weeks after giving birth to her son.

But when the pain became unbearable, she went to the hospital where she claims she was told she had one blood clot in the femoral artery in her right leg and was given blood thinners and sent home.

The 20 red blood clots laying on a piece of cloth after they were removed from Ms Ellis’ right leg

Initially Ms Ellis thought the medication was working but when her leg went stiff and she couldn’t bend it, she visited another hospital for a second opinion two days later.

The customer service worker claims here she underwent an ultrasound where she was told she actually had 20 clumps in her leg and they needed to be surgically removed right away.

Disturbing photos show the bulging red clots on a piece of cloth after they were removed from her right leg.

Ms Ellis claims she thought she would die and is now urging people to be persistent with their hospital referrals to ensure they get the care they need the first time round.

Ms Ellis said: ‘I broke down when I saw how many blood clots were in my leg as I didn’t realize it was that bad.

‘Seeing a photo of all the blood clots put it into perspective of how bad it was and how close it was to me losing my life.

‘Not only did the photo of the 20 blood clots shock me, it hurt my feelings that the previous doctor let me walk out of the hospital.’

According to the CDC, blood clots can be very serious and need to be treated quickly. They can lead to illness, disability and even death if not treated early. 

While it remains unclear what caused the clots, Ms Ellis claims a doctor told her the blood clots could have been caused by possible C-section complications.

According to Medical News Today, there are two kinds of blood clots women may experience after giving birth.

One is clots that are passed through the vagina in the days after birth, which are from the shedding of the womb’s lining and the detachment of the placenta.

Ms Ellis with her family while pregnant with her third child
Ms Ellis also said Amaris was a very ‘big’ baby for her size. ‘I was told he was going to be a big baby and he was big for my body as I’m five foot three and he was 9lbs 10oz,’ she said

The second is clots that happen inside the body’s veins, which are uncommon but can be life-threatening.

This may be because pregnancy raises the pressure in the veins in your legs and pelvis, making clots more likely. 

Ms Ellis also said Amaris was a very ‘big’ baby for her size. ‘I was told he was going to be a big baby and he was big for my body as I’m five foot three and he was 9lbs 10oz,’ she said. 

‘The pain (in my leg after the C-section) was pretty persistent and kept getting worse and I went to the emergency room.

‘At this point, the pain was excruciating. I couldn’t move and I had to almost crawl to the car to go to the hospital.’

Doctors ran some tests on her and discovered a blood clot in a large blood vessel in her leg. She was sent home with a blood thinner and told to follow up with her doctor in a week.

‘As they discharged me I was quite concerned as I had a numbing feeling in my leg but I just ignored this as the hospital said I was good to leave.

‘At first, I thought the blood thinners were working. I tried to push through as the hospital had cleared me but by that night I was back on the floor.

‘My leg was completely stiff at this point and I couldn’t bend it. Complete terror was going through my head and I thought I might lose my leg,’ she said.

She decided to go to a different ER for a second opinion.

‘I had a fever at this point and I was given pain medicine but it did not help at all as the pain was so bad.

‘I was then sent up to the blood and vascular department and they ran some tests on me and did an ultrasound on my leg and they realized that the clots were a lot worse.

‘I was terrified and I didn’t think I was going to make it out (of the hospital).’

After being shown a photo of the 20 clots removed from her leg, she said she ‘broke down’ at the sight of them.

Ms Ellis said: ‘You need to stay persistent with your doctor with your healthcare and they don’t always seem to be as worried as you are.

‘You know your body and if you feel like something is wrong you need to get it checked out.

‘Make sure you follow up with your doctor as blood clots can be fatal.’

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