It was sudden and serious. Very serious. A badly swollen foot and a series of tests at a local hospital revealed a sizable blood clot in a leg. A CT scan indicated a piece of the clot had broken off and reached my lungs, perched on a blood vessel close to my heart.

This was dangerous.

By Sunday morning, we were in a major medical center in New York City, I was on blood thinners and it was made clear to us that this was touch and go. Twenty-four long hours later, what they called an “umbrella” was passed through a vein in my leg to the abdominal cavity. The umbrella was opened and provided a net to catch any future clots. Within days, the blood thinner had stopped the clot in my chest. The crisis seemed to end, and a new phase had begun.  There’s a lot to figure out for the future.

This had nothing to do with the stem cell clinical trial. It probably was caused by too many hours sitting in one position at the computer. The trial goes on and my determination to get over this goes on with it.

One doctor commented that I was pulled back from the brink.  Staring mortality in the face is frightening. I believe that things will work out. It leaves me with a lot to think about in my life.

38 Responses to Crisis

  1. Jeff April 1, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    WOW – I find it amazing what we are capable of enduring when the $#it hits the fan. I can’t imagine what the past few weeks have been like for you, but know that there are many of us that are with you in this battle. Not only because of what it could mean for us, but because we truly appreciate your strength and openness in a time that is challenging all that you are.

    I guess there’s not much more to say than “Thank You”. Keep fighting the good fight, you are in the process of changing the world for many of us – regardless of the outcome.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

      The fight continues. Thanks.


  2. Matt April 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Glad to hear they found out what was going on. We are all pulling for you! Now let’s get better from this day forward. It’s weird how this has affected me. I haven’t been feeling great but after reading this it has cleared my head again. Thank you for being strong!!!

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm #



  3. Rich Gallagher April 1, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    Having had a pulmonary embolism, I know what it’s like to be given a diagnosis of a condition which could be fatal. The good news is that future blood clots are preventable. In my case I slipped on ice and slammed my leg into a concrete step. A blood clot formed (called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT), broke off, passed through my heart and ended up in my lungs. I’ve now been on Warfarin (Coumadin) for more than a decade, with no side effects. The only downside is needing a monthly blood test to confirm that the level of blood thinner is neither too high nor too low.

    Of course, I did not have to deal with MS, and it certainly is possible that long hours of relative inactivity led to the formation of your the blood clot. The CDC had good information about this:

    The best of luck to you.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      Too much time at the computer.


  4. Brian April 1, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Sorry Rich, I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re not allowed to die! We ‘re not through with you yet! Kidding aside, all it takes is an episode like this to make you realize that in the world of health issues, you can do a lot worse than MS. Now get better!

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:52 pm #



  5. Betty Moody April 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I’m so sorry you had to go through this Richard.
    Things will work out. Stay strong, and write it all down.
    We’re with you all the way.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:53 pm #



  6. David April 2, 2014 at 4:53 am #

    I pray that you will get better, then better still, I am sorry for all the suffering you have been through

    Stay strong knowing how many people care about you.

    The world is abetter place because you are here and we need you to stay a lot longer.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Thanks. Not going anywhere.


  7. Kate Aquilino April 2, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    I lifted you up to the Lord many times since your first post about this scary time. Even if you don’t believe in Him, He believes in you. Glad you’re still here for the next round (as in boxing, not medical protocol). Chins up, kid.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm #


  8. Carol April 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    You’re a trooper, Bud. Hang in there; take it easy.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      Will do.


  9. coco April 2, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    Once again you are absolutely amazing.. the fight goes on.. and you WILL prevail… Namaste’

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm #



  10. Debbie April 2, 2014 at 11:53 pm #

    Dear Richard,

    I am so sorry that you had to go through all of this! My thoughts and prayers go out to you, and I pray and hope everything is uphill from now on;)
    Stay Positive and be grateful that the clot was found in time to treat you!

    Hope always…..

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

      The fight continues.


  11. Mark April 3, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    You are remarkable. Too much for one person. Enough now, please. Prior comments have said it all. Just get well.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      Will try.



  12. MimiNOLA April 3, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Whoa, scary, close one. Makes me want to move more while on computer. Relieved not due to transplant. That is good news.

  13. Lori April 3, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    I just read your tweets re: your health crisis. So glad to hear you are over that! You are so fortunate to have a wonderful, caring wife to be at your side through it all. These bumps in the road certainly do tighten the bond between us and our loved ones, don’t they?

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      I agree. amazing.


  14. MJ April 4, 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    Wow, Richard! One thing after another for you. So sorry to read what you have been going through. My heart and prayers are with you and your family! My husband (who has PPMS) had clusters of blood clots in both lungs, which I think was caused by too much sitting on plane trip back from Hawaii (the one place he wanted to go while he could still walk). Thankfully, they caught it in time, as they have yours also; and you are on the road to recovery from this. Brings home the fact that we need to be very vigilant in watching for any changes and new issues. Hang in there and know so many people are rooting for you!!

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

      Keep moving.


  15. Matt April 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Richard I hope things are back on track and your next infusion of stem cells are ready to be put in. Peace

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm #



  16. Betty Moody April 4, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    M rocks. You rule. Many arms around you both.
    Hang in there. We love you.

    • Richard April 5, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

      And we love you back.


  17. Desinie Smith April 6, 2014 at 4:10 am #

    I’m really glad you’re doing OK ,Richard. There’s never a dull moment, is there!?

    • Richard April 6, 2014 at 2:57 pm #



  18. Lori April 6, 2014 at 8:14 pm #

    Your latest tweet – you mentioned denial – you’re not in denial – you are just a positive, optimistic person desperately wanting to feel well. And I believe you will….in time….being patient is not easy…but you’re showing us all how it is done. Feel better soon, Richard!

    • Richard April 7, 2014 at 8:40 am #




  19. Chris Weller April 9, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Remember Monty Pythons ministry of silly walks. We need to bring that back in fashion! A draggy left leg is better than a clotty lung. It’s time for me to get a movin…

  20. JIM SLABAUGH May 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    I wish you luck with the trial. I been on the verge of going to mexico and getting stemcell shots. my family don’t want me to of course. I hope I get to find out how u do following the shots. I’d do it in a heartbeat. had ms over 30 years. they not any further in treating my ms now that when I was dia. im kinda lucky. still walk a little with 2 canes. do my getting around in a wheelchair and atv. I live in a rural area of okla. feel there is no dr. to help me at all. in fact my d.o. also has ms. I’m his hero, lol. im pulling for u. jim

  21. ask fm September 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    Thanks in favor of sharing such a fastidious idea, post is
    good, thats why i have read it entirely