We are officially open for online registration. Please go to https://www.preeclampsia.org/pfwat/walkinfo.asp and click on the Dallas/Ft Worth link to register for the walk. Forward this information to your friends, family and co-workers.
Lots of exciting things are happening right now for the walk. We are still in need of sponsors, publicity opportunities and silent auction items. If you would like to help in any of these areas, please let me know.
Below is a great article the will be printing this week in the Sanger Courier, Denton Business Journal and possibly the Krum Star.
On Saturday, May 9, 2009, the Preeclampsia Foundation will be holding
its 5th annual nationwide Awareness Walk. The walk will be held in 25 cities
across the country and the starting point for the Denton awareness walk will
be at the Denton Elks Lodge, located at 228 E Oak St. Registration is
expected to start at 10:00 a.m. and the walk will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The goal for this event is to raise money to fund research, professional
and patient education, provide family support, and increase awareness
regarding the long-term impact of preeclampsia on womenÃ‚Â¹s cardiovascular
Their mission is to stop preventable death and disability of mothers and
babies by eliminating delays in diagnosis, implementing the best known
practices, developing new practices, and helping women and their families
through the impact of preeclampsia.
Sanger native, Nicole Purnell, is just one of the thousands of
Preeclampsia Foundation volunteers who work hard at helping other families
get through the tough times. She made the decision to help coordinate the
walk in Denton this year and has worked with a countless number of families
and individuals whose lives have been turned upside down because of this
frightening disorder. Ã‚Â³IÃ‚Â¹m working on this walk to let people know what
Preeclampsia can do and to help families that have gone through it,Ã‚Â² she
NicoleÃ‚Â¹s experience with preeclampsia began on December 28, 2005. Ã‚Â³There
wasnÃ‚Â¹t a thing wrong with my pregnancy. I didnÃ‚Â¹t have heartburn or
contractions, I felt fine,Ã‚Â² said Nicole.
However, her blood pressure spiked dangerously high and her body was
becoming very sick. Ã‚Â³I had no idea I was a walking, talking, ticking time
bomb,Ã‚Â² she said.
It was just a matter of time before her body couldnÃ‚Â¹t take any more. In
the early morning hours while she slept, her placenta completely separated
from her uterus. This typically happens after birth, not before. Ã‚Â³It just so
happened that I fell asleep on the couch and an infommercial woke me up,Ã‚Â²
Ã‚Â³I truly believe that if I hadnÃ‚Â¹t woken up then, that I would not be
here today. I still didnÃ‚Â¹t feel sick. I thought I was having contractions
and that made me decide to go to the hospital,Ã‚Â² she added.
According to the Preeclampsia Foundation, Preeclampsia, formerly known
as toxemia, is a disorder that occurs only during pregnancy and the
postpartum period and affects both the mother and the unborn baby.
Preeclampsia affects at least 5 to 8% of all pregnancies, and it is a
rapidly progressive condition characterized by high blood pressure and the
presence of protein in the urine. Abdominal pain, agitation, decreased urine
output, nausea and vomiting and vision changes are also important symptoms
to watch for.
Research shows that more women die from preeclampsia than eclampsia and
one is not necessarily more serious than the other. Typically, preeclampsia
occurs after 20 weeks gestation (in the late 2nd or 3rd trimesters or middle
to late pregnancy), though it can occur earlier.
Ã‚Â³Most people donÃ‚Â¹t even realize how dangerous Preeclampsia can be. They
hear the word at the doctorÃ‚Â¹s office and run to their Ã‚Â³What to Expect When
YouÃ‚Â¹re ExpectingÃ‚Â² book only to find a small paragraph glazing over the
issue,Ã‚Â² said Nicole.
What the book doesnÃ‚Â¹t mention, is that Preeclampsia is the number one
cause of prematurity. 1 in 12 women are diagnosed with Preeclampsia and 25%
of those are severe cases. Every 6 minutes a women in the United States is
diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and the average time from diagnoses to
delivery is two weeks. Ã‚Â³All of this is important information that the public
needs to know,Ã‚Â² said Nicole.
Proper prenatal care is essential to diagnose and manage preeclampsia.
Preeclampsia, and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) are closely related
When Nicole and her husband got to the hospital, the first nurse
couldnÃ‚Â¹t find her babyÃ‚Â¹s heartbeat. They got a different machine, then a
different nurse and then another. No one could find a heartbeat.
At 35 weeks, Nicole was told that her baby was no longer alive and would
have to be delivered stillborn. In the hours that followed the doctors
confirmed that she had massive internal bleeding. Her mild Preeclampsia had
turned into one of the most severe forms called HELLP.
HELLP Syndrome is classified as H (hemolysis, which is the breaking down
of red blood cells), EL (elevated liver enzymes) and LP (low platelet
count). HELLP Syndrome symptoms may happen before the three symptoms of
Preeclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling), and
can be as symptoms of gastritis, disseminated intravascular coagulation,
acute hepatitis, and gall bladder disease.
Ã‚Â³My kidneys and liver were failing and my blood wasnÃ‚Â¹t clotting like it
should,Ã‚Â² said Nicole. The Dallas blood bank had to be put on call.
It took 2 surgeries, 7 doctors, 13 units of blood and countless
platelets to stabilize her. She spent five days in ICU and four more in the
hospital before she was released.
Ã‚Â³My doctors were amazed I was alive and walking out without any
impairments,Ã‚Â² she said.
Ã‚Â³It is sheer determination to not let Preeclampsia destroy my life that
has pushed me forward,Ã‚Â² said Nicole. She has had to look for ways to use the
energy to do good. Through the Preeclampsia Foundation she has met families
all over the country.
Ã‚Â³Some have healthy children, some have children with lifelong
disabilities, some lost children, some lost mothers, all lost a dream,Ã‚Â² said
Ã‚Â³A familyÃ‚Â¹s dream of a picture perfect pregnancy is shattered and I want
to be there to support them,Ã‚Â² she added.
Nicole, like many others, have found solace and the strength to go on
through the Preeclampsia Foundation. For more information about the
awareness walk or to locate a support group near you, log on to
Ã‚Â³There is life after Preeclampsia,Ã‚Â² said Nicole.