South Shields grandad’s warning over deadly blood clots

Shaun Kinghorn outside the Houses of Parliament.
Shaun Kinghorn outside the Houses of Parliament.

A grandad who nearly lost his life after he was diagnosed with deadly blood clots is aiming to raise awareness of the “silent killer”.

Fit, healthy and active, Shaun Kinghorn almost died after taking ill eight years ago.

The 58-year-old, of Mowbray Villas, South Shields, collapsed and was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism which left him in hospital. Despite losing much of his lung function, Shaun has adapted and still leads an active lifestyle.

He is now a trustee of Thrombosis UK and last week met Lyn Brown MP at the House of Parliament for the National Anti Coagulation Achievement Awards - in the run up to World Thrombosis Day on Saturday.

The father of five and grandad of 13, said: “I was a fit bloke who ran and swam but I got breathless after one swim and, after getting checked out by my GP, found that I had lost 20% of my lung function.

“I was supposed to see a specialist but then I collapsed at home.”

Shaun was diagnosed with blood clots in his lung and says that without getting treatment as quickly as he did he “wouldn’t be here now”.

After treatment at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital he initially had sleep and breathing problems as well as issues with fatigue and anxiety but his recovery has continued and he leads as normal a life as possible.

He said: “I got the right care thanks to the GP referral and after about three years I was feeling a lot better. I’ve lost 25% of my lung capacity but you learn to adapt.

“I’ve even managed to run 100 Park Run events.”

Shaun, married to Melanie, 59, is now hoping to spread the word of the dangers of contracting thrombosis.

On Friday he gave a talk entitled “Thrombosis: the patient’s journey” at a national conference organised by the clinical leaders of Thrombosis: anticoagulation special interest group in Manchester.

Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system.

In England, 25,000 people die each year from venous thromboembolism - higher than the combined total deaths of breast cancer, Aids and traffic accidents, and costs the NHS an estimated £640million annually.

Anyone looking to find our more about Thrombosis can go to www.thrombosisuk.org