OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An OKC woman faces a medical mystery after several surgeries for a series of life threatening blood clots and an emergency caesarean at just 28 weeks.
Krystal Gayer’s story starts with lots of pain and swelling in her left leg.
“I could not walk and my leg was the color of a fire engine. It was two to three times as big as my other one,” she said.
The problem was multiple blood clots.
Krystal went into the hospital for treatment and later surgery to break up the existing clots and prevent new ones from forming, but it didn’t work.
Within hours, the clots were back.
“My blood did not thin the way that they needed it to to essentially make sure that these clots wouldn’t come back,” Krystal added.
Krystal said doctors diagnosed her definitively with May-Thurner syndrome, a rare vascular condition.
“They diagnosed me what that, I believe it was the third surgery,” she said.
“They are assuming that I’ve had it most of my life, and being pregnant amplified the issues and created the blood clots.”
Because of her diagnosis, Krystal said it is likely that she will have multiple stents and be required to take blood thinners for the rest of her life.
Krystal was just 28 weeks pregnant at the time, and also needed emergency surgery to deliver baby girl Kobi, who was just two pounds and eleven ounces at birth.
Krystal said the baby appears to be progressing in her recovery.
“She’s gaining weight and, you know, she’s not on oxygen …she’s what this momma needed,”
While May-Thurner can be treated with blood thinners and stents, after multiple surgeries in the last month, Krystal said her doctors are stumped and can’t seem to get the condition under control.
“They said that in all the years that they’ve all practiced, they’ve not seen anything like this. They don’t have answers as to why it comes back so quickly. I have been on three different blood thinners, on aspirin, [and other medications], and it does not thin my blood the way that they need it to,” she continued.
In Krystal’s case, the clots re-form within 12 to 24 hours.
“We’re trying to find doctors in the area [that] have seen this, and none of them have,” Krystal said.
“Every doctor that I have spoken to has told me ‘I don’t know what to do’ because they essentially have already exceeded the number of surgeries they would do for this condition,” she added. “It’s a true medical mystery.”
While Krystal said she’s had at least three discharge dates, the 36-year-old hasn’t been able to go home because of her condition.
She says there’s been discussion of sending her out of state for more testing and research but she’s desperate for answers.
Krystal shares updates regularly on social media about her condition.
The series of surgeries and early delivery has also caused a number of unexpected bills for the mom of two who cannot work while doctors race to treat her condition.
Friends and family members have set up a Go Fund Me account to help cover the costs.
“I hope to find somebody that maybe knows answers. I’ve been here in the hospital a month as of Thursday, and it’s getting hard. I have a 16 year old at home that needs me and a baby in the NICU that needs me,” she said.