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Grabbed by the Hand and Led into Helping Others

April 4, 2012

Four time preeclampsia survivor, three time NICU mom and friend to a woman who lost her baby due to preeclampsia at 34 weeks, Cleveland Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Coordinator Brandi Bigelow knows the toll preeclampsia can take.

Sent home from the hospital after the birth of her first child with liver enzymes unknowingly twelve times the normal level, Brandi owes her life to a follow-up appointment for her daughter at the hospital.  The hospital staff was concerned upon seeing her, drew labs, took her blood pressure and then decided it was best to transfer her to another, larger hospital better able to care for Brandi as she was now in full-blown HELLP Syndrome.

Brandi initially refused the notion of treatment and moving hospitals.  That was until a nurse, according to Brandi, grabbed her by the hand and told her “that my liver was starting to fail and my kidneys didn’t look good either and if I refused treatment, I could die.”  Brandi acquiesced and thankfully recovered.  Three more times Brandi would fight for a healthy pregnancy only to develop preeclampsia once again.

Her final struggle for a “normal” pregnancy was the straw that broke the camel’s back for Brandi.  It’s the straw that lead her to bridge from supporter of the cause to become the Cleveland Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Coordinator.

This will be the first year for the walk in Cleveland and they are off to a strong start.  With plans for survivor stories, kids’ activities and a raffle already in place, the walk promises something for everyone.  To be held May 12th at the Brookside Reservation, registration is now open and can be found at www.promisewalk.org/cleveland.   The cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children.  Prices increase to $25 for adults for walk-up registration.

For more information, contact Brandi Bigelow at cleveland@preeclampsia.org.

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