KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, blood clots affect many people in the United States. About 100,000 people die of blood clots each year, and one in four people with pulmonary embolism, or P.E., can die without warning.
But Memorial Hermann Katy now has state-of-the-art technology to quickly treat patients with blood clots or P.E. and have them back home in no time.
One of those patients is a Harris County Sheriff's Office deputy who's now on a mission to share his story and raise awareness about deadly blood clots.
"I've been a deputy for 25 years with Harris County," Deputy Raymond Hubbard said.
Serving and protecting have always been a top priority for Hubbard. He admits he's a workaholic, and it's hard to slow down.
Recently, he was reminded that his health should come first.
"This was the scariest because I could not breathe," he recalled.
While playing with his 3-year-old daughter, he felt winded. He said it felt like a sledgehammer was hitting him in the chest.
"I had to stop, lean over on anything, and brace myself. It took minutes for me to catch my breath," he said.
His mom rushed him to Memorial Hermann Katy, and it all took a turn rather quickly.
"The doc comes back and says, 'Hey, you're not going to work today. We're going to prep you for ICU. And you're going to have surgery immediately,'" he said. "I say, 'What are you talking about?' He says, 'You (have) blood clots in both lungs. That's why you can't breathe."
This was the second time Hubbard had to deal with a blood clot, but this time it was different doctors who had to act fast to save his life.
"They put me down (and) got me ready for surgery," he said.
Before he knew it, he was up and breathing. His captain at the time was by his side, supporting him.
New technology is part of a procedure called mechanical thrombectomy. Memorial Hermann Katy doctors can now treat P.E. patients like Hubbard quickly by essentially suctioning out the blood clot and giving patients quick relief.
Hubbard is grateful for his doctors and all of the support he has received from his comrades. He's now making sure people are aware of how serious this can be.
"I think a lot more deputies need to get checked out. We're under a lot of stress out there. And it's not always that you are tired. You're not getting enough oxygen," he said.
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