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Keri developed severe preeclampsia at just 24 weeks pregnant and was forced to deliver her baby shortly thereafter.
Her baby girl Millie was extremely premature and weighed just 1 lb. 1 oz. She needed intensive medical care and Keri was by her side day and night.
A few days after Millie's birth, Keri set up a CaringBridge site to stay in touch with loved ones. "I had so many friends, co-workers and family members who wanted to know how to support me and who were asking for information about how Millie was doing," said Keri. "One hundred percent of my time and energy - emotional, mental and physical - was being spent on my baby and I had nothing left with which to reach out to people."
CaringBridge patient websites make it easy to share health news and receive support from everyone who cares. Using CaringBridge reduces time and emotional energy spent on repeated phone calls and emails and connects a person's entire support community. By following a few simple steps, a personalized website complete with privacy options can be started in just minutes.
"Millie's page on CaringBridge was invaluable to me. It allowed me to easily share pictures of her and provide information about her status in the NICU," said Keri. "Even more important than that it allowed me to get support from so many others."
Every night after Keri returned home from the NICU, she would read the messages in the guestbook and take comfort in the words left for her there. "Never before did a few words from so many people mean so much to me," said Keri.
Millie put up a huge fight to stay alive. She made it through two surgeries, countless other medical procedures, and 25 days in the world when she should have still been in the womb. Unfortunately she passed away from renal failure brought on by extreme prematurity. Her CaringBridge site is now a bittersweet journal of her life.
"I would have no hesitation in recommending CaringBridge to other parents of preemies or to anyone facing a serious health event," said Keri. "I appreciate that even two years after my baby's death her page is still 'open' and there's no pressure to close it."
To learn more about creating your own CaringBridge site, visit www.CaringBridge.org.
Brevard County Women of Excellence Breakfast
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Grand Rounds University of Chicago
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