Our patient stories: Meet Tabitha | Bristol Myers Squibb

Tabitha, Tampa, Florida

Meet Tabitha


Tabitha suffered a pulmonary embolism and feared for her life. Shockingly, her mother shares a similar story. With the support and encouragement from her family and the determination to keep fighting, Tabitha lives life to the fullest – taking time to experience all the things that bring her true happiness. Hear her inspiring story.  

It’s just the little things. Being there for each other no matter what.


[Tabitha Daughter]:  


I feel like me and my mom are like medical twins. It happens to me, it happens to her. It happens to her, it happens to me.


[Tabitha Mother]: 


I started getting short of breath.


[Tabitha Daughter]: 


It felt like… almost equivalent to maybe an elephant hitting me in the chest. I remember falling down and I just remember waking up with a paramedic over me. He was like, “you had a massive pulmonary embolism”.

[Tabitha Mother]: 


And then I was in that same spot, that she was in with the pulmonary embolism. She ended up being admitted again with blood clots. So then we ended up switching roles again. I did go into ICU for that. My heart rate would shoot up to 199 immediately. We’re back in the same spot again. How do we get here? I remember the doctor saying to me, “you'll be dead in six months”. Just like that.

[Tabitha Daughter]: 


If you do leave, this is certain death because if this clot moves it could kill you.

[Tabitha Mother]: 


Oh, that just… my heart just hit the floor.

[Tabitha Daughter]: 


I didn’t know if I was going to die. You know. A doctor give you a diagnosis, where he’s just saying “I don’t know. I don’t know.” That’s a point where I feel like I was really at my lowest. It’s just the little things. Being there for each other no matter what.


[Tabitha Mother]:  00:01:45

To see my daughter, Tabitha walk through that door…my heart just stopped. And it was like she’s here.

[Tabitha Daughter]: 


The nurses they’ll set the tray in front of you. My mom was there to feed me. So, it’s just those things. She was right there.

[Tabitha Mother]: 


I couldn’t do anything but just cry when I saw her.

[Tabitha Daughter]: 


And her encouragement being right there by my side, you know, telling me it’s going to be okay. I love you. I love you. I love you.

[Tabitha Mother]: 


And I said “I am a fighter.” “Come on now. Don't let this get me what he said.”

[Tabitha Daughter]: 


I’m not going to give up, you know? So many things in life that I want to do and accomplish. Now that I go places, I really, really immerse myself in things. I enjoy nature. I love, love, love plants. I love to garden. I love to explore. If it’s just a new city, I gotta drive through. I like to hike. I love natural springs. I always enjoy flying. It just always intrigued me how you could get from one side of the country to the other side of the country in a matter of five hours. Sometimes the pilot would let you come in and look at the controls. That right there was just so fascinating to me. I have a strong will to live. This is amazing. Life is amazing. And when your life flashes before your eyes like… you know? Don’t give up. Don't ever give up.