Family Stories

JJ Vance’s Story

A Sad Day
Jeffery Joseph Vance was born on January 24, 1984; An avid athlete who was full of life, a devoted friend who was kind and gentle, and an exceptional student with hopes in following in his parents footsteps.

During a soccer game in November 1998, JJ injured his knee. Shortly later, he began to experience headaches and nausea. This was soon followed by a seizure. JJ was admitted to the Duke University Medical Center on November 26, 1998. CT scans and MRI’s demonstrated he had a venous sinus thrombosis. Due to the severity of his condition, he was induced into a coma with the hope that this would stabilize the swelling in his brain. In the end, JJ did not wake up from his coma and sadly died on December 12, 1998 to the devastation of friends and family.

Coming to Terms
As a parent, one of the most devastating events that could ever occur is the sudden and inexplicable death of a child. Never does the thought of death come across one’s mind when watching your kids laughing, playing or arguing with your youngest child. Unfortunately this was the case for Drs. Margaret Pericak-Vance and Jeffery Vance.

“For a long time, it was really difficult to even think about it,” said Pericak-Vance. Other then having a history of asthma, JJ was a very healthy young man. Because of his lack of history of thrombosis, doctors were baffled as to what was the culprit for such a rapid clinical presentation. Many coagulation disorders are easy to classify, whether it be via observation or laboratory findings. However JJ’s case was clearly distinct.

Today, JJ’s memory lives on in the heart of his parents, younger sister Danica Vance and those who were touched by his kindness and intellect.