Patient Perspectives

Eric's story

After employee-patient Eric suffered three pulmonary embolisms at age 35, his biggest fear was leaving behind his wife and small children. Eight years later, Eric shares a deep gratitude for the time he gets to spend with his family and finds happiness in the little things. Learn more about what inspires him to turn ordinary days into extraordinary ones. 

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Video Transcript

[Eric]:  


I do remember when this happened to me.

It was about eight years ago.

At that time, I felt exhausted. I had a persistent cough.

I just started having a harder time breathing.

I started coughing up a little blood.

I wound up calling the pulmonologist.

Right off the bat, he told me, he goes, “You have blood in your lungs, how quickly can you get to the hospital?”

So I had to wait another 20 minutes, half hour, until my wife came home, and then I had this conversation with her of, “What happens if this doesn't go well?”

I was first thinking to myself, “This is not how it's going to end.

I was 35 at that point.

I mean, I had a six month old, a two year old, and a six year old.

I mean, it was pretty horrific.

And I was thinking to myself, “What can I tell her to help plan for the future just in case this doesn't go well for me and I don't walk out of the hospital?”

That could be the last moment you see somebody, somebody you've grown with, you've started a family with.

You've accomplished so much with.

We basically said goodbye to each other, just in case, who knows?

And I look back on my life where my father passed away early when I was in college, and for him not to see me get married, have kids, have a career really was going through my mind of, “Is this going to happen again?” And it really made me upset.

I remember it being very emotional, where obviously we both cried and we said we loved each other.

I was in the hospital for a few days.

I had a lot of people come visit me.

When the pulmonologist came in, he confirmed that I had three pulmonary embolisms.

So tomorrow is actually my birthday, where I'll be 44 years old.

And I look back on all that has happened in my life in the past eight years, and we had the amazing opportunity to have another daughter.

She is now in kindergarten.

My oldest, he started when this happened when he was in first grade.

He is now going into high school and to see everything that he's been able to accomplish and the young man that he's grown up to be, to see my family grow from three kids to four kids, it just gives you more sense of love.

And I might not have been here now to actually enjoy that.

All my hobbies are now closer to what all my kids do, because I just want to be closer and do what they're doing.

Two of my kids are avid runners, so now I run 5ks with them.

I'm training for the New York City Marathon this November, so the more I could do things with them, the happier I am and just living each day that way.

For me, it's that peace. When I'm running, it really helps me separate from everything else.

It's my quiet time to appreciate what I have.

It gets emotional because I'm very thankful.

I'm thankful for being here.

Back then, I was more just trying to get through the day, and now it's more thinking about and enjoying the little things because the little things may not be there tomorrow.

 

 

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Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. As global citizens, we work sustainably and responsibly to create a positive impact in the communities where we live and work.
 

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