Russell Okung says he has a pulmonary embolism

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The Chargers recently said that left tackle Russell Okung has a serious medical condition. Okung has confirmed that he does.

Okung announced on social media that, after experiencing “unusual chest pain at practice,” he learned that he suffered a pulmonary embolism, caused by blood clots. Okung explained that doctors told him that the decision to seek treatment on June 1 at an urgent-care facility “likely saved my life.”

“When detected early, this condition is very treatable and I’m grateful to have access to the best available care as I continue on the path to recovery,” Okung said. “Thanks to an incredible medical team and a very supportive family, I hope to be back on the field as quickly as possible. While near-death experiences are certainly a wake-up call, I’m feeling great physically. It’s not an ankle or shoulder. As soon as doctors clear me, my plans include blocking #17’s blind side all the way to Miami.”

We wish Russell all the best as he recovers, and anyone who is suffering similar symptoms should do exactly what he did: Get checked out. It could save your life.

15 responses to “Russell Okung says he has a pulmonary embolism

  1. Hope he recovers quick. Depending on the cause, a PE will likely require 3+ months of anticoagulation (“blood thinner”) with something like warfarin or Rivaroxaban, etc. Which means hes likely out for a few months+

  2. Man that’s very scary, glad he caught it in time and will be OK!!! I’m sure Rivers is glad to, he needs Okung around for sure.

  3. When your body whispers listen, when it screams it might be too late. Glad he caught it in time. I had a a AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm) found on a routine sonogram from my gallbladder. With diet and healthy habit its it shrunk in a year, but if I would have never had a sonogram for the gallbladder. I may not be here today. Scary cuz there were no signs at all.

  4. A friend of mine passed away two months ago from a pulmonary embolism. He went in for a common back surgery and was in the process of recovering. Apparently he had a blood clot in his leg that caused the embolism, likely due to being stuck in bed for a few weeks. 42 years old.

    I am glad the doctors were able to prevent a similar incident in Russell’s case.

    Don’t wait. Your health is no joke.

  5. Light speed, Russell. One heck of a player and we’re all very glad it was caught before anything devastating happened. Hope to see you on the field soon.

  6. Not accurate that most people don’t survive a PE. However, they are not easy/obvious to detect, which is a huge factor in why they can be fatal.

    As another poster indicated, Okung may be on a blood thinner for 3-6 months. Or, he may be on a blood thinner for life – depending on whether a cause for the PE can be determined and what that cause is determined to be.

    Technically, he can probably play. But, the obvious challenge with a blood thinner is that he should not be exposed to situations that will cause bleeding. NFL football? Certainly an activity with a high risk of bleeding. I don’t know if there are cases of players playing while taking a blood thinner.

    If he does not need to take a blood thinner for life, or for very long, then hopefully he can come back.

  7. My dad died of a PE in 1990; it was a complication following surgery. We have many more treatment options now, but there’s no doubt a PE can kill you. Best of luck to Russell Okung.

  8. One of our truck drivers had just come in from his daily route. Said he didn’t feel good and went home early. He never made it out of our parking lot. 36 years old died almost instantly from a pulmonary embolism. He was fit as a fiddle, non smoker or much of a drinker. Left behind 2 daughters and wife. Sad day for sure.
    Point being it can kill you in a few seconds if it passes into your heart valves. If you have chest pains take action immediately.

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