Meet Tabitha

Tabitha, Tampa, Florida

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.  

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Video Transcript

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

About Bristol Myers Squibb

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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