Madison Dunton

Hey everyone! Some of you may know, most of you probably don’t, I was effected by HELLP syndrome. Most don’t even know what HELLP syndrome is. So I’ll explain it the best I can, some describe it as an extremely bad form of preeclampsia but the funny, or not so funny thing about it is it doesn’t always show with signs of preeclampsia and it’s not always partnered with preeclampsia but most of the time it is but this can cause for a lot of confusion and is often to diagnose without blood testing. HELLP causes your liver enezymes to kill your blood platelets. It can go from bad to worse in a matter of hours.

My story:

I was headed up to my OB appointment , as my boyfriend dropped me off in the front to go park, I noticed my pants were wet and I immediately knew my water broke. Which made me terrified I was only 32 weeks and my goal was for Roman and Damon to cook as long as possible. So we headed to labor and delivery and they ultimately decided yes it was my water that broke. The next few days the doctors were trying to decide if it was indeed my water broke because they tested my cervix again and the test came back negative. So at 32 weeks and four days they decided to send me home. But during the day my blood pressure was through the roof, they decided I was just nervous about being sent home. While waiting for my boyfriend, Hunter, to get off work I started getting this excruciating pain in my chest going up to my shoulder. My nurse found me in the fetal position in my hospital bed crying because of the pain. She knew right away something was off, thank goodness. She asked me if I had any vision dots, I confirmed I had and I had all been feeling like I had to throw up. She called the doctor, and he came in and told me it wasn’t just heartburn and he was going to send me home on heartburn burn medication and blood pressure medication, thankfully I had an amazing nurse who went above this doctor. Shortly after I had another doctor come see me, he listened to my vitals and got blood work done right away. At this point it was around nine pm when the blood work came back. I had a few nurses come into my room and tell me my blood work came back concerning and went the doctors arrived in the morning, they would decide what they wanted to do but I needed to prepare myself that I’d probably deliver tomorrow morning. That night they hooked me up to magnesium, which was one of the most painful things of my life (along with my chest pains), and they took my blood every three hours and took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. Around 8 am a doctor came into my room, told me I had something called HELLP syndrome and I would need to deliver. I asked when. She responded “immediately”. This was one of the scariest moments of my life, I remember breaking down crying, not knowing what HELLP syndrome was, worrying about my future children’s lives. But she excused herself and I was whisked away to the OR, at 10:15 am Damon was born at 4 pounds 1 ounces, at 10:16 am Roman was born at 3 pounds 6 ounces. This may seem extremely tiny to most but in the preemie world I got lucky. I was able to hold Damon for about ten seconds and I saw Roman from across the room. I wouldn’t see them for 14 long hours later. They spend a total of one month and 2 days in the NICU.

Luckily my HELLP syndrome was caught, due to an extremely great nurse, but if I would have been sent home, we would have likely not made it. I wish I would have known what to look out for or even the doctor to know the signs of HELLP (unfortunately a lot of medical professionals don’t know much if anything about HELLP), and I hope a mistake like this never gets made again, even though I know it happens more often than not, HELLP is often thrown under the rug, as heartburn and the consequences are dire.

So I’m raising money for the promise walk to spread awareness of HELLP syndrome and preeclampsia. Every dollar helps and if you can’t donate, please share this to your facebook.


Funds raised: $50 of $500
10 percent raised


Thank you donors
Madison Dunton
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The Preeclampsia Foundation would like to thank its generous National Sponsors: