15-year-old had had a stroke from birth control, was in Coma for 27 Days


  • Tria Potts suffered a stroke after controlling her birth at the age of 15. Doctors thought it was drugs.
  • She was in rehab for five months, but still became the first of her family to graduate from high school.
  • Potts had a severe blood clot while she was 25 years old, but was rushed to the first hospital.
  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

Tria Potts doesn’t remember losing consciousness at the age of 15 as her eyes turned to the bottom of her head. Her grandmother told her.

Her memories of coming to a hospital bed after 27 days in a coma they are blurred too. His mother told him that his first words were “Michael Jordan” before returning to use sign language, which law student A studied. Talking, like eating and walking, would be something she would have to reopen.

Potts, now a 37-year-old two-year-old mother at Battle Ground, Washington, had suffered a massive stroke, something a doctor later told her. attributed to his birth control pills. He also knows now that he has a genetic predisposition towards blood clots. But the only explanation that seemed to make sense to clinicians at the time was the illegal drug.

“Doctors swore to my mom that I had drug overdoses or that I did something experimental because it was so uncommon for a 15-year-old boy to just have a stroke of nothing,” Potts told the Insider.

While the Potts experience happened decades ago, experts and other women have told Insider the challenge of having a life-threatening situation taken seriously when a young woman persists.

Potts continued to control the birth to manage painful periods

Potts continued Ortho Tri-Cyclen, a combination

birth control
pill containing estrogen and progestin, at the age of 15 to manage periods heavy and painful enough to keep her home from school. “The doctor assured me it’s 1 in a million chance of having a stroke or any side effects,” he said.

So she and mom decided to accept the recipe without asking for blood tests. “It’s our biggest mistake,” Potts said. Less than a month later, he had a stroke. It was caused by more clots, at least one that traveled from his heart to his brain.

Choose Potts before his shot.

A Tria Potts Polaroid before I had a shot at 15 years old.

Choose Potts

Potts said doctors had to make a hole in his head to relieve the pressure. (To her dismay, her aunt and uncle still have the simulacrum to commemorate one of her most frightening times of her life. Luckily, Potts said, “It’s clean and stuffy.”)

Potts was in a coma for 27 days, during which doctors performed “every possible test,” he said. They found out she had it S protein deficiency., or a disorder that increases the risk of abnormal blood clots. Potts also learned that it naturally produces a lot of estrogen, another clot enhancer. Adding birth control combinations seemed to ignite the fire.

However, no one put this together until the day Potts was released from rehabilitation, when a doctor told her and her mother that she was sure the pill had triggered the blow.

Birth control increases the risk of clots, but is still less than one in 1,000

Estrogen, a hormone found in combination hormonal birth control methods, increases the risk of any type of blood clot. This is because it induces the body to produce more of the plasma which helps the blood to stay together. Ancient iterations of birth control pills tend to contain higher levels of estrogen, makes clots more likely.

Today, the risk of clots related to birth control can generally be compared to rare but serious events such as a car accident, Dr Melanie Davies, a gynecologist in London and a professor at University College London, said. he told Insider earlier.

“For 10,000 women over a year, one in five will have a blood clot anyway, and in the [pill] which grows to three to nine, so it’s always less than one in 1000 chances, ”he said.

Rare doesn’t mean it’s worth dismissing, though. In interviews with 24 women who had had negative birth control side effects, including clots from pills containing drospirenone and ethinylestradiol, research Alina Geampana found that women did not think they had received enough information about the risks before starting the pills.

“It’s one of those things where if this was a human problem, this would have been solved like a hundred years ago,” Rebecca Ungarino, an Insider reporter who had a birth control stroke at the age 20, he said in a previous story. “It’s how I feel, like no one is going to have blood clots. It’s just crazy for me.”

Potts spent five months in rehab and almost dropped out of school

When Potts finally woke up on the 27th for no apparent reason, his mother was not surprised. “My mom [had] she said, “There’s no way in hell she won’t wake up.” I’m too piggy, ”Potts said.

This attitude humiliated her even during rehabilitation in hospitals, where she spends five months in speech and physical therapies.


“I remember trying to walk and doing things on my own and then I realized, OK no, I can’t and I need help,” Potts said. “And it was embarrassing.”

He picks Potts with his uncle as he recovers from his shot.

Tria Potts rests in her hospital bed with her uncle as she recovers from a stroke. She is grateful for the friends and family who have been by her side throughout her stay. She still has the teddy bear that a nurse gave her today.

Choose Potts

Going back to school was also inconvenient. “My thought train was all over the place,” he recalls. “I had read a sentence or two and lost my place and I was so sorry with myself that I burst into tears. Then I have to apologize.”

She almost dropped out to get her GED, but was steadfast in her goal of graduating – even though she needed to do summer school to recover. She graduated with her class in 2002.

Potts had a deep vein thrombosis during her pregnancy

After high school, Potts used a progesterone-only birth control pill and saw a doctor every six months. “For several years, I was a normal person.”

After all, she she is pregnant. Blood clots are more common in pregnancy and three months after delivery than in birth control, even for people without a history. How much 65 out of every 10,000 new mothers experience a clot. Potts ended up being one of them.

She was working the night shift at a casino when the pain in her leg was so debilitating that she couldn’t stand it.

His father, who also worked there, took him to the nearest hospital. Here, it was stated that the pain occurred because of the way her daughter was placed, and she was relieved. Potts knew they were wrong. He then went to another larger hospital, where he had received prenatal care, and made his case.

An ultrasound immediately revealed that Potts had a clot extending from his groin to his patella, diagnosed as deep vein thrombosis. Potts was immediately treated with a drop of heparin, and had a healthy baby two months later.

“If I don’t have any answer or a second opinion, I’ll go elsewhere,” he said. “I feel like we know our body better than doctors.”

Tria Potts and her husband.

Tria Potts and her husband, Chad, are on their wedding day in 2018. They now have two teenage children, one from Chad’s previous marriage.

Choose Potts

These days, Potts ’biggest side effect from his stroke is poor memory in the short term. She also says that her smile is not quite symmetrical, but no one else notices it. She has been on Warfarina for 22 years and has had a hysterectomy to reduce her risk of ovarian cancer; she has in the BRCA gene. That took care of his heavy periods, too.

Her biggest complaint is that when she tells people, doctors included, she had a stroke at the age of 15, they say, “Oh no, you don’t,” Potts said.

In medicine, combinations such as “youth” and “strokes” often do not count. Brittany Scheier, a lawyer who had a stroke a few years ago at the age of 27, said Insider about how their symptoms have been brushed off in the ER like drugs or alcohol.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, an American Heart Association Go Red for Women a volunteer medical expert and cardiologist in New York, she previously told Insider that it remains critical for women – who are more likely to get, and die, stroke than men – to defend themselves.

“I hear it so many times,” the doctor was listening to. Maybe they’re right, ”he said.“ No one knows our bodies like we do. No one lives in our bodies. We know when we’re not good. ”

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