The OklahomanSunday, October 9th, 2011
OU-Texas game holds some painful memories for Bernstein
By Mel Bracht
In the Media
As ABC sideline reporter Bonnie Bernstein ran across the Texas State Fairgrounds and a mile to her car after covering her first OU-Texas football game last year, she knew something was wrong. Her calf was cramping up, her thigh was hurting and she was having trouble breathing.
“For somebody who works out five days a week, that didn’t seem quite right,” said Bernstein, 37, a former Maryland gymnast.
Bernstein was in a hurry to beat the game traffic and catch her flight out of Dallas. The pain got even worse after boarding the plane.
The following Monday, she visited her physical therapist because she thought she had pulled a muscle.
The next day, her knee was swollen, and her doctor deduced she might have a blood clot. A sonogram revealed the clot had extended from her Achilles, up her thigh and had broken off into both lungs.
“Once it breaks off and gets into the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism, which is life threatening,” she said.
“If I had waited another day or so, I might not be having this conversation.”
Bernstein suffers from Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which affects up to 2 million Americans a year.
“More people die from a pulmonary embolism than breast cancer and AIDS combined,” said Bernstein, who is active in a national campaign to boost public awareness of DVT.
Although blood thinners have helped control the disorder, Bernstein has been forced to curtail her broadcast work.
“A month leading up to my diagnosis, I was working a college football game on Saturday and a baseball game on Sunday. I was flying four times a week, which is very dangerous when you have a blood clot.”
After jumping to ESPN from CBS last year, Bernstein is doing more studio work and has hosted “NFL Live.”
Bernstein is excited about covering her second OU-Texas game Saturday. She plans to pig out on fried Oreos at the fair.
She’ll also reflect on her painful trek across the fairgrounds last year.
“When we got assigned to this game last week, I started getting these flashbacks, because your life can change in an instant.”.