It has been five long years since we have seen our handsome son. Five long years since we've looked into his sparkling blue-green eyes and heard his hearty laugh. Yet, at the same time, it seems like yesterday.
To help us navigate this journey and bring us some sort of peace that we are making a difference and did not lose Paul Jr. for nothing,, we continue our mission to educate others about the prevention, risk factors and symptoms of blood clots.
We are having a MEAT RAFFLE to honor and celebrate Paul's short life on Saturday, September 15, 2018, from 6-10 PM at the Clarence Fire Hall. Tickets for the fundraiser will be $8.00 each which includes beer, wine, pop and water (no outside alcohol is permitted) as well as a door prize raffle. Guests bring their own snacks for the table, lots of singles and a cooler for their winnings! We will have a raffle for a bucket of booze, Chinese auction items and 50/50 split prize. We hope to make this a FUN event because Paul would want us to spend this anniversary laughing with family and friends the way he did.
If you are interested in attending this event you can contact Denise Englert for tickets at: PEMeatraffle@gmail.com or call 716-949-1006.
We wish we would have known the symptoms of blood clots. We wish we would have known it can affect anyone at any age, at any time.
Sadly, Paul, Jr., was not one of the lucky ones. He did not survive his blood clots. He passed away on September 19, 2013, at the age of 19 from a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in his lung). Unfortunately, Paul did not exhibit many symptoms. The only symptom Paul presented with was shortness of breath, and therefore, he was believed to have developed exercise-induced asthma. He was the picture of health. Paul was a very active, healthy 19-year old who never had asthma. He played many sports throughout his life and was working out at the gym several times a week with his friends. It was September and the middle of allergy season so it made sense that Paul would have some trouble breathing when he exerted himself. After all, I also have seasonal allergies and need to use my inhaler when I exercise in the summer.
It appeared suddenly out of nowhere at the end of August 2013. I remember the first time I noticed a difference in Paul. He had just walked down the stairs in our house and sat on the couch next to his grandmother who was visiting from out of town. I heard him breathing heavily and asked him what he had just done……it sounded like he ran a marathon. He laughed and said, “I know, I just came down the stairs.” Paul never, not one time, complained about having trouble breathing. His father and I continued to notice the problem and sent him to see his doctor. It made perfect sense when he came home with an inhaler, which he used for a week and I noticed no improvement, so he returned to the doctor for another appointment. However, the very next day, Paul left for classes and never came home (he commuted to the University at Buffalo). He collapsed while at school that day and died instantly.
We never got to say goodbye.
We miss his contagious smile and his hearty laugh. “Paul was always laughing and smiling. He was such a happy, big-hearted, all-around good guy who was great at giving advice,” said many of his friends. “He had your back” and he had the ability to cheer them up without even knowing they were having a bad day. He was described by one of his bosses as being an “old soul.”
It is not common practice to test for blood clots in an otherwise healthy, fit, young man. Ironically, Paul’s godmother, only 3 months later suffered from blood clots due to birth control pills she had been taking for a period of time. If we hadn’t just lost Paul and knew the symptoms (not because Paul had them, but because we researched them after we lost him) we could have lost her as well. We continue to hear, “it’s rare or uncommon” for an individual like Paul who is active, healthy and has no known risk factors to develop a pulmonary embolism and die. Take a look at the National Blood Clot Alliance website (www.stoptheclot.org). Scan through the patient stories and you will see there are MANY young children/adults that have developed blood clots. There seem to be more stories on the news of younger people developing blood clots.
Once every six minutes, someone dies from a blood clot. They can be treated if diagnosed. Unfortunately, sometimes the first symptom can be death. Please consider making a contribution or purchasing a ticket to attend our fundraiser on September 15. Donations will go to the National Blood Clot Alliance (a 501(c)(3), non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke) as well as the Paul Englert, Jr., Memorial Endowment Fund at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute where Paul attended high school.
Please take a moment and visit the website, www.stoptheclot.org for more information.
With much appreciation,
Paul & Denise Englert