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Ortho Evra Patch: 18-year-old Suffered Two Strokes

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Warsaw, NY"I read some articles about the Ortho Evra Patch on your web site and that prompted me to tell my story and get legal help," says Jennifer Gardner. When she was just 18 years old, Jennifer suffered two strokes causing irreparable damage. When Jennifer's cardiologist found out she was on the Patch, he told her to rip it off immediately.

Jennifer was only on the patch for five months, from March to July of 2005. Since then, she has had 'several setbacks' -- to put it mildly.

Jennifer before stroke
"I was prescribed the Ortho Evra Patch to regulate my periods but it increased my flow and caused a lot of pain," says Jennifer. "Then I started to get headaches and felt light-headed all the time so my Mum thought I should stop taking it. She took me to our doctor and he sent me to a cardiologist to have an EKG -- he said the blood loss had to do with my heart but the tests came out fine. I stayed on the Patch.

I was going to high school and living in Georgia with my Dad at the time so my Mum had to drive me back from New York -- I wasn't well enough to drive myself. On the way home I was bleeding a lot and as soon as we got to my house in Georgia I couldn't walk and my left hand went numb. My parents took me to University hospital in Atlanta and I was admitted for three days for observation.

They came to the conclusion that I had a mild stroke. I cried for a long time; I cried myself to sleep. My mum was terrified and my father was out of his mind.

It doesn't stop there.

I saw a lot of different specialists, from neurologists to cardiologists and then some. They asked so many questions and when I told them I was on the Patch, they told me to get off it immediately. I wasn't taking any other meds.

They told me I had to have heart surgery because my blood had thickened and clotted so badly that it caused a tear in my mitro valve -one of the main heart valves. My mum wasn't happy with the cardiologist down south and she wanted me to go back to New York. So I moved back with her right after I was discharged.

The doctors also had me on anti-psychotic medication -- I had suffered brain damage from the stroke.

Jennifer after stroke
"After the move, they couldn't perform surgery -- they were hesitant because of the blood clotting so I saw a hematologist for five months before I could have surgery. During this time I was bed-ridden.

"I had surgery in June, 2006 -- I had waited almost a full year. Just when I was beginning to recover I got a Staph infection because my blood wasn't fighting the infection -- I had to fight that for three months and took a series of antibiotics to get over it -- the infection was right next to my heart. Then in September 2006 I had another stroke, this time much more severe. I lost all feeling in my left side for two months. And there is NO heart disease in my family.

Not only that, I was admitted to rehab for two months so I could walk again and use my left hand. And I lost so many brain cells it took me months to teach myself how to walk and talk again. I am no longer on the anti-psychotic meds and I am steadily recovering but still have trouble with my left hand and arm -- my muscles have deteriorated and I have limited use.

I will eventually have to get this valve replaced because the repairs can tear if my blood is too thick. . For the rest of my life I will have to take Plavix and aspirin.

My life has changed so much: I was a cheerleader for six years and very active in sports and now I can barely walk.

I had to quit my secretarial job and sales assistant job. I can no longer multi-task. But I have a job interview at 1.30 this afternoon at a credit collection agency where I just have to answer the phone -- that is basically all I can do. I got accepted to community college this fall but it is going to be a challenge: I was accepted based on my high school performance -- before I had the strokes -- so I am very nervous.

When my cardiologist told me to take the patch off, I knew it was the cause of my strokes. The drug makers need to put a better warning on the label and come up with a better birth control method than pumping women with all this estrogen. I will never be able to take any birth control again due to hormones -- the doctors told me that they were the cause of having these blood-related issues.

And another thing: Due to my disability, I have lost several friends. They can't deal with the fact that I can't do things that we had in common before the strokes. But my mum won't stop fighting or finding out a way to help; she just wants me to have a normal life."

We want you to have a normal life as well, Jennifer. Good luck with your job search -- and your lawsuit. will check back with Jennifer next week to see how she made out with her interview.


Ortho Evra Contraceptive Patch Legal Help

If you have or a loved on has suffered from blood clots, heart attack or stroke, while using Ortho Evra, please contact a lawyer involved in a possible [Ortho Evra Lawsuit] who will review your case at no cost or obligation.


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