Thank you for visiting my 2018 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia fundraising page.
I am grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word about preeclampsia. I almost lost my life last year due to this devastating pregnancy disorder, and it has changed not only my life, but the life of my husband and son as well. My goal is to help our community raise funds and awareness and save the lives of moms and babies!
I am humbled and honored to be the 2018 Mission Family for the Atlanta Promise Walk. Please make a donation to support our efforts to fund education and research into this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy.
My Preeclampsia Story:
I remember Mother’s Day 2017 as being one of the happiest days of my life. After my husband and I struggled for several years to conceive, I had just given birth to a beautiful baby boy, Landon, who, although born 5 weeks premature, was happy and healthy and strong. Two weeks later, I woke up in the ICU, nearly blind, unable to speak, and in tremendous amounts of pain – only to be told that I had been in the hospital for two days after suffering from seizures and being on the brink of death.
I didn’t have a smooth pregnancy, and dealt with several complications, but what we didn’t know was that I actually had preeclampsia. Although I had many of the other symptoms, my normal blood pressure baseline was usually around 100, so when it started creeping up into the 130s, that level was high for me, but the nurses weren’t concerned because it was still considered to be in the “normal” range. Well, if preeclampsia isn’t treated, rising blood pressure can cause a number of problems and preeclampsia can become eclampsia – eclampsia meaning seizures.
The seizures happened twelve days postpartum. I remember very little from that day, except that I had what I thought was the worst migraine of my life, and that a coworker was bringing over dinner for us and my vision got so blurry that I couldn’t read his texts. So I asked my husband to take care of the food, while I took a migraine pill and went to bed. Sometime after my husband left me to go back to sleep, he heard me gasping in the bedroom and ran in to find me in the middle of a series of tonic clonic seizures.
All in all, my injuries were substantial and I am extremely lucky to be alive. My blood pressure had shot up to 240, which caused significant brain damage and swelling in multiple brain lobes due to a condition called PRES (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome). The PRES then caused the seizures – too many to count. I also suffered respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, severe sepsis, a heart attack due to the stress put on my heart, daily migraines, a herniated disc in my neck, reinjury of a previous shoulder problem, a nerve disorder, and PTSD. Oh, and did I mention this was 12 days after a c-section? Yeah, that hurt. Just a little. I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.
Over the coming months, I began my recovery. Getting better and managing my disability felt like a full-time job - so many doctors’ appointments and tests, five months of physical therapy, and more prescriptions than I could count. It was a struggle, but thanks to the support of my husband, I began to make progress and eventually went back to work in November. I am still dealing with doctors and medication for the residual migraines and nerve pain caused by the PRES, which may never go away, but I am light years ahead of where I was last summer.
My husband and I are now both back to somewhat of a “normal” routine and couldn’t be happier to be blessed with our little boy. We went through a horrific experience due to lack of knowledge of a condition that is rare, yet very serious, and I feel very strongly that part of the reason my life was spared is so that I can help spread awareness and fight this terrible disease. I recently began serving on the Preeclampsia Foundation’s Patient Advisory Council, and am humbled and honored to be chosen as the 2018 Mission Family for the Atlanta Promise Walk.