In 2001, Judy Van Fossen just wasn’t feeling right. She struggled to find the energy to perform daily tasks and had strange fluttering sensations in her chest. After symptoms worsened, her doctor referred her to a cardiologist, who diagnosed her with atrial fibrillation (“AFib”), an irregular heart rhythm that often causes blood clots leading to strokes.
“It wasn’t too bad in the beginning, but it got worse over time,” says Van Fossen, now 76, a retired teacher in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Doctors told Van Fossen she’d have to take anticoagulant medication (often referred to as blood thinners) for the rest of her life to reduce the risk of blood clots that could cause strokes. But the medication only caused more problems: Between 2015 and 2016, she had three bad falls, two of which led to bleeding in her brain....
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