Kaden Clymer of Wauseon, Ohio, was stricken with sudden inexplicable pain just days before the start of football season. His legs had swollen four inches in circumference and he felt pain radiating through his legs and back with no warning.
The day was Aug. 1.
Clymer’s father took him to the emergency room. The high school junior wouldn’t leave the hospital for nine days.
By the end of his stay at Toledo Children’s Hospital, doctors had extracted approximately six feet of long, string-like blood clots that had spread throughout the veins in Clymer’s legs and a regimen of blood thinners would end his high school football career according to WTOL-TV.
“I just wanted to go home honestly. I didn’t really care what they did to me, I just wanted to go home,” Clymer told the station.
When he was told he had blood clots in his legs, the emotional impact was heavy.
“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.
Maurine Clymer told the local news outlet that her son “was just getting ready to start practice, we were really looking forward to seeing him on Friday nights.”
“His calves were swelled up four inches larger, in circumference, than they are now,” Maurine Clymer said. “So, he was very uncomfortable.”
After more than a week in the hospital and several procedures to remove the clots, Kaden was released and returned to the sidelines.
But there is work still to do, Seggerman said
“Unfortunately, Clymer’s path to recovery is far from over,” Seggerman said. “Not only are doctors still trying to find out exactly what happened to Kaden, but regaining strength … comes at a price.”
He receives uncomfortable injections daily.
“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.”
Though weak at first and barely able to stand, according to WTOL’s Tyler Seggerman, Kaden told reporters. “I’m really happy to be able to spend time with my friends. It means a lot to me to be able to be back on the field and have fun with them.”
The junior lineman seems little fazed by his harrowing ordeal though.
“I’m very strong and well-minded because it took a lot of effort to be able to stay in the hospital for nine days straight,” Clymer said. “To eat the hospital food and go through all those procedures, it really sucked.”
Doctors diagnosed the young Ohio student with a condition called inferior vena cava atresia. According to the National Library of Medicine, the disorder can be acquired or congenital in which the inferior vena cava — the largest vein in the human body — is either damaged, not fully formed, or missing entirely.
This vein typically returns blood from the lower extremities of the body back to the heart, 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.
With the blood thinner treatment, Clymer is showing improvement and is expected to still play baseball this year, his favorite sport.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.