There are many reasons that the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia is important for our family and our future. The Thomas Titans (which includes Thomas, McConnells, Blevins, Garners, Franks and lots of family and friends who love Carley, Colt, Graham and our family) are working hard to help fight Preeclampsia!
Chad and Kelly's daughter, Carley, was born in 2007 at 33 weeks weighing 2 lb 15 oz. Kelly was diagnosed with Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. Carley's early birth literally saved her life and her momma's life. Kelly's blood pressure was dangerously high, she was close to having a seizure and/or a stroke. Her kidneys and liver were shutting down. She was swollen with over 40 lbs of water weight. Carley was not growing properly. So at 33 weeks gestation the only hope either one of them had for survival was for Carley to be born early. As Carley grew and developed in the NICU, Kelly's conditioned worsened. Finally, after 8 days, Kelly turned a corner as her blood pressure lowered with the help of medication and her organs began to function properly again. After 21 days in the NICU Carley came home too. In 2008, Chad and Kelly’s son, Colt was born at 36 weeks, 4 lb. 15 oz., due to Preeclampsia. Thankfully, Preeclampsia struck later in this pregnancy and was less severe.
In 2015 JJ and Ashley were ecstatic to be pregnant after a miscarriage, years of trying and fertility treatments. A routine appointment revealed that Ashley had high blood pressure and the baby wasn’t grow as well as doctors wanted. Educated about preeclampsia, JJ and Ashley were grateful when she was sent to a specialist. Tests showed that Ashley’s platelets were low and she was diagnosed with Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. She was admitted to the hospital and lived gruelingly day-by-day and then hour-by-hour for over a week as her blood was drawn and platelets were checked twice a day. Each morning and afternoon revolved around what her platelet count would be. It was a heart-wrenching roller coaster ride as her platelets would be up and then down and then back up again. While she didn’t look sick, her body was in peril and both lives were in danger as the disease affected Ashely and the baby. Ultimately, preeclampsia claimed their son’s life. Graham Lee Thomas was stillborn at 26 weeks due to Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. A heartbreaking end to the pregnancy. Graham was born a hero as his birth saved his moms life. JJ and Ashley did not give up on their dream of raising a child. Ashley became pregnant again but suffered a miscarriage in January 2016. They continue their fight to raise a child and raise awareness of Preeclampsia.
Two brothers, two sisters-in-law, these four parents, their children and their scores of grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends all affected by the same disorder yet in very different ways.
We walk to honor those who are no longer with us. We walk to help find a cause or cure so that Carley and Colt won’t have to face preeclampsia again when they are ready to start their families. We walk for research, so that it may help JJ and Ashley, and other couples, fulfill their dream of family. We walk so that one day Ashley and Kelly may find answers as to why this happened to them. We walk to educate other women and families about preeclampsia. We walk for our babies.
Thank you for visiting our team page! We are excited to "make strides and deliver hope" for families affected by preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy.
Our team is grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word.
Want to join our team to make strides? Just click the "Join Our Team" button and register! Registration to attend the Promise Walk is free to all participants.