Unique Stories With Common Threads

February 28, 2013


So many preeclampsia survivors enter a doctor’s office or hospital as pregnant women with a concern, a symptom, a feeling something is not right and then many days or weeks later leave the hospital a changed woman touched by this disease in a way they never realized they could be. After all, in this day and age, women and babies don’t die, right?  You pass the first trimester and it’s smooth sailing, right?

Phoenix Promise Walk Coordinator Rafelle Deyle knows all too well that risk is not gone once you cross that line into the supposed “honeymoon phase” of the second trimester. Rafelle was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 25 weeks and three days. Doctors tried to treat her disease and allow time for her baby girl to grow and gain strength, but at 26 weeks and four days, Rafelle was forced to deliver due to her failing health. She left the hospital heartbroken.

Her pain is her own, the exact progression of her disease is her own, but so many of us have followed this similar path and come home from the hospital to search the internet for answers to what happened to us rather than being on the internet like we’d planned to at 26 weeks to check our registries for what new things someone may have bought us.

That common internet search, “preeclampsia,” and Rafelle, like many of her preeclampsia sisters, found the Preeclampsia Foundation. She attended the 2011 San Diego Promise Walk for Preeclampsia and experienced a sense of community and support that further inspired her to bring a Promise Walk to her hometown of Phoenix.

In her inaugural year, Rafelle hopes that the Phoenix Promise Walk will bring awareness of the signs and symptoms of preeclampsia. Long term, she hopes to raise enough money to find a cause and cure so other families don’t go through what she has gone through.

The Phoenix Promise Walk will offer not only the 3k walk, but also face painting for the kids and a fun cake walk. If you’d like to join Rafelle in Phoenix on May 4th or find a Promise Walk near you, go to www.promisewalk.org to register or donate now.


One comment

  1. I recently lost my son at 24 weeks from severe preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome and its the absolute worst feeling in the world. We have plenty of support around us but it seems all my friends and family members are getting pregnant around me and I am left with an empty nursery and so many questions 😦 I had no risk factors and always had a clean bill of health and I am young. The doctors have no idea what caused this to happen to me but I just hope and pray that God will allow us to have more children.

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