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New Walk Wednesday: Adding Jacksonville, FL to the Promise Walk map

February 4, 2015

New Walk Wednesday is an opportunity for our amazing supporters to meet the caring individuals who accomplish our mission in your local communities. Today’s guest blogger is Alexis McMinn, a preeclampsia survivor and new coordinator of the Jacksonville-area Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. After a harrowing experience with preeclampsia, she decided to make a difference in her community of Northeast Florida: www.promisewalk.org/Jacksonville.

In September of 2012 I was 7 months pregnant. I was at one of my regular check up visits when the nurse noticed that my blood pressure was a little higher than normal. She went through the checklist of other symptoms to see if I was experiencing any of them: headaches, nausea, dizziness, etc. She didn’t seem alarmed.I went home.

A few short weeks later I was at Chuck-E-Cheese with my in-laws, and my sister-in-law said to me, “Are you feeling okay? You don’t look too good.” Little did I realize that I had started blowing up like a balloon. 27 lbs of water weight in just two weeks.

My swelling got out of control. I couldn’t even put on sandals. I woke up one morning, 35 weeks pregnant, and felt horrible. I couldn’t see, I had a migraine, I was throwing up, and I just felt like I was dying. I called my mom and told her I didn’t feel right. She told me that “this is what happens at the end of pregnancy,” but I knew this couldn’t be normal.

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Bringing him home for the first time after the NICU.

I went to the hospital and my blood pressure was 170/110. I was admitted and they ran a 24 hour urine test. I was spilling protein heavily. 2413 was the level of protein in my urine… the normal range is 300. The next day I was induced.

After almost 45 hours of labor, going unconscious, and almost losing my life as well as my son’s, an emergency cesarean section was performed. My handsome son was born at 36 weeks, 4lbs 4oz. He stayed in the NICU for six days and still to this day suffers from issues from being premature. When I was diagnosed with preeclampsia I had never heard of it and had no idea what it meant or what to expect. Then I learned how many women and babies it affects and I just couldn’t stand not trying to help spread awareness. I knew something, anything, had to be done. That’s when I got in touch with the Preeclampsia Foundation and knew I had to bring a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia to my community here in Northeast Florida.

I really hope to reach out to other moms who have suffered from preeclampsia and even their family members and let them know that I will do everything I can to help find an answer to preventing this from happening so much. Jacksonville is such a huge city with many women who need to be educated about this horrible disease that is affecting so many of us.

Alexis with her son today, who is a thriving 3-year-old.

Alexis with her son today, who is a thriving 2-year-old.

Our walk is going to be so amazing! I want others to know that I love and support them in this experience, and I will help find a way to make this stop. This is for the moms and beautiful babies, for those who are still here and for those who have gained their wings. This is for all of us!

The Jacksonville, FL Promise Walk for Preeclampsia will be on May 9, 2015 at the beautiful Huffman Boulevard Park (2775 Huffman Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32246). Registration and packet pick-up will begin at 8:45 AM, and the walk will kick off at 9:30 AM. To register, visit www.promisewalk.org/Jacksonville

 

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