A PENSIONER has told of her terror after developing a searing pain in her hand which turned out to be a life threatening blood clot.

Sheila Ann Anderson, 79, of Willowmead Gardens, Marlow, said doctors had saved her life after the sudden onset of pain as she went to put a letter in the post box.

She praised staff at Wycombe Hospital's minor injuries unit, who immediately recognised the danger and rushed her to John Radcliffe Hospital by ambulance.

Mrs Anderson, who worked for High Wycombe furniture company JC & MP Smith Ltd for 54 years, said: "I went to post a letter and I had a terrible pain in my hand."

She was shocked when doctors said it was a clot.

"I was just so devastated, nothing registered and Eddie, my husband just panicked. I was like a zombie, I was just so devastated.

"It was dangerous to my life because the clot, as it turned out, was in my left arm and they couldn't get me to the hospital quick enough.

"The experience was just horrible but the doctors saved my life because they were so quick and so prompt and so was the ambulance.

"The doctors were brilliant at Oxford and Wycombe, I couldn’t fault them at all."

She spent eight days at the hospital after an operation and is still recovering Mr Anderson, in his 80s, a retired film industry transporter, said: "I was worried sick, the surgeon said it was really serious it really frightened me. The clot was making its way to the heart up her ;left arm. Once it gets to the heart that's it."

He has written to hospital bosses to thank them for saving his wife.

Facts on clots from The American Society of Hematology - the world’s largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatments of blood disorders.


•Heart - chest pain, often radiating down the left arm and accompanied by shortness of breath, and sweating

•Brain - visual disturbances, weakness, seizures, speech impairment

•Arm or Leg - sudden pain, swelling, tenderness

•Lung - sharp chest pain, rapid pulse, bloody cough, shortness of breath, sweating, fever

•Abdomen - severe abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea

Factors which increase risk of developing a venous blood clot:



•Immobility (including prolonged inactivity, long trips by plane or car)


•Oral contraceptives

•Certain cancers


•Certain surgeries

•Age (increased risk for people over age 60)

•Inherited clotting disorders (family members who have had clots)

•Chronic inflammatory diseases