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Oklahoma Family Shares Story of Tragedy and Triumph

May 28, 2015

The story of Heather, Brian and Abby Hill, the 2015 Oklahoma City Promise Walk Mission Family, is filled with both tragedy and hope for others.

In 2007, Heather was pregnant with her first child, a baby girl Chloe. She began to experience severe migraines early into the pregnancy and intense swelling. Heather was having increased blood pressure at every doctor visit but still was told to go home and that everything was fine.

The Hills’ saw a specialist at 24 weeks and was informed Heather had blood clots in her placenta and they were going to have to monitor the baby closer to measure her growth as the placenta wasn’t providing her with enough nutrients. At week 26, Heather started having severe upper right abdominal pains that went around to her back and she felt the urge to urinate all the time but couldn’t go. All of these issues were told to her nurse; who said she probably was just having Braxton-Hicks.

On March 15, 2007, Chloe was very active, but the next day she was a little less active. Heather thought she was exhausted from her baby shower the day before. On March 17, Heather went to work and notice Chloe wasn’t moving at all. At lunch, she called her doctor and the nurse told her to come in immediately. When Heather and Bryan arrived at the hospital; Heather’s care providers couldn’t find Chloe’s heart beat. Her doctor came in a short time later with an ultrasound machine and started looking at Chloe. Heather’s doctor took the monitor off and told them, “We figured this would happen; I am sorry but she’s gone.”

It didn’t register to Heather and Bryan what their doctor was say at first: “what do you mean she’s gone? And what do you mean you figured this would happen?” Looking at the monitor, it sunk in. It wasn’t until 24 hrs later after having to deliver a stillborn Chloe that the doctor finally told them that Heather had preeclampsia.

Heather began research preeclampsia and found the Preeclampsia Foundation’s website. It helped her to understood what had happened, but also to know that she was not alone. She had been right to be concerned about her symptoms.

“It has helped push me to help find a cure and support others,” Heather said. “Women still die of this condition, and that could have been me.”

2015 Mission FamilyTheir story is a one of loss, but also hope. In 2013, Heather became pregnant with their second child and because of the experience with Chloe, she knew what to look for and worked with her doctor to develop a game plan. Eventually, Heather was put on full bed rest to see if Abby could gain weight. Heather was in the hospital for a month and delivered Abby at 29 weeks. Abby was born 1 lbs, 5oz and 11 inches long. Abby spent two months in the NICU, but happily, has had no development issues.

She is determined to do everything she wants, when she wants,” laughed Heather. Heather and Bryan additionally are expecting again. After doing blood work; Heather’s specialist discovered she has a blood clotting gene when she is pregnant, a condition that is treatable with blood thinners. Thanks to vigilant care, Heather and her baby are doing well.

To support the work of the Hill Family to raise awareness in baby Chloe’s memory and Abby’s honor, visit http://www.promisewalk.org/oklahomacity.

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