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Norris Family Raises Awareness for Kansas City, Missouri

May 20, 2015

baby_norrisOne of the most important parts of any Promise Walk event is the survivor story. Today we get to meet Lindsay and Camden Norris of Team Harrison in Kansas City (www.promisewalk.org/KansasCity) the 2015 Mission Family. Lindsay was only 30 weeks pregnant when severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome threatened her life and the life of her unborn son Harrison.

1. How have you and your family been involved with the Preeclampsia Foundation?
We have been involved with the Preeclampsia Foundation these last two years through participation, and this year in the role of mission family, with The Promise Walk of Kansas City. We so enjoy being a part of this amazing event to help support the Preeclampsia Foundation’s mission and to connect with other local families who have been affected by Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome. Through sharing our story and helping to spread awareness about these diseases- we can help save lives of other mommies and babies. Being a part of that has been the best medicine of all!

2. Describe your personal experience with Preeclampsia and the impact it had on your family.
While our experience with Preeclampsia and HELLP Syndrome were by far the scariest moments we’ve ever faced- it no doubt brought my family closer together. It started with being admitted to the hospital with Pre-E and blood pressure problems at 29 weeks (and my sweet husband sleeping in a hard hospital chair every night), which led to the worst/best day of our lives when our son was born by emergency cesarean at 30 weeks after my quick decline, and ended six weeks later when we finally got to leave the hospital as a family. I had never felt such disparity in my emotions throughout our journey with HELLP Syndrome and not a day goes by that I’m not thankful for our happy ending- especially knowing many others were not as lucky! Not only do we hug each other little closer after our experience with HELLP Syndrome, it has completely opened our eyes to all of the other blessings we have. Don’t get me wrong- it took us a while to get passed the resentment, confusion, anger, fear (I’ll stop there) that goes along with this awful disease… but the end result was a stronger family, so in love with our little boy, and so proud of what we overcame- together.

3.How has the Preeclampsia Foundations information or services helped you either before, during, or after your pregnancy?
The Preeclampsia Foundation’s services have proven to be invaluable during this journey. Being a nurse, I remembered learning about HELLP Syndrome briefly in school- but I didn’t recall all the details. As soon as I felt well enough to do the research, of course the foundation’s website is the first that popped up. All the whirling questions in my emotional mind were difficult to put into words- but there, all in one spot- were the answers I needed. Now that I’m a few years out- the foundation’s website has been very useful in helping me gather information regarding potential risk in future pregnancies (fingers crossed), and the long term effects of Preeclampsia and HELLP and how I can be my own advocate in taking charge of my health!

Lindsay_Norris_family_current4.Why do you feel that Preeclampsia education and support is important for all pregnant women?
Knowledge is power! It is so important that all women, especially pregnant women, know the signs and symptoms of Pre-E and HELLP early on in their planning or pregnancy. Many times women are made to feel that their headaches, or swelling, or heartburn are just normal side effects of pregnancy and to “tough it out”. While in most situations this may be true- it’s important to remember that’s not always the case. When equipped with this important information, women will be empowered to be their own health advocate, know what signs to pay attention to, and to trust their gut if something doesn’t feel right. Supporting each other once we’ve faced a disease like Pre-E or HELLP is equally as valuable. Knowing that other families have had similar experiences, especially when HELLP Syndrome is so rare, can be very comforting. Supporting each other, sharing our stories, and educating women won’t just lead to better informed pregnant women- it will save lives!

Lindsay and Harrison’s full story can be found on her blog at http://runningfromhellp.blogspot.com/ and you can support their efforts by joining the Kansas City walk on May 30, 2015 at http://www.promisewalk.org/KansasCity.

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