Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Barnett’


Purses For Preeclampsia to Honor CLB and Benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation

July 17, 2012

Jordana McVey, Owner of Jordana Paige Designs and loving aunt to Cooper Landon Barnett

UPDATE: Due to tech errors on Wednesday, July 18 that delayed the “Purses for Preeclampsia” benefit sale, Jordana Paige has generously rescheduled the event for Thursday, July 26 at 8 am PST. For more information, visit We look forward to another great day of awareness and fundraising! Thank you all for your continuing support!

Today we are doing an interview with Jordana McVey, of Jordana Paige, the handbag and knitwear design company. Jordana will be holding a very special fundraiser on her website,, starting at 8 am PST/11 am EST Wednesday, July 18 to benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation, in memory of her nephew Cooper.

First of all, would you tell us a little bit about your family’s experience with preeclampsia and what inspired your fundraising event?

On Thanksgiving day in 2010 my sister, Elizabeth and her husband, Tyler, announced she was pregnant with their first baby. The family jumped up and down and cried tears of joy.

At 23-weeks pregnant Elizabeth became very swollen. It was too early in her pregnancy to be swelling as she was. She didn’t feel well. Something was off. We took her blood pressure at home. The next day at her doctor’s appointment they alerted the doctor that her blood pressure was high. They checked it and her urine; 159/111 and protein in her urine. After being immediately rushed to the hospital her blood pressure had gone up to 170/110. Elizabeth had severe preeclampsia.

In denial at the time, I don’t think I could process how at risk my sister’s life was. At any moment she could have a seizure and go into a coma or die. Their baby, Cooper, had less than an 11% chance of surviving. They induced labor to stop the preeclampsia. When the nurse placed Cooper on Elizabeth’s chest the cry in the room did not come from Cooper, but was instead a mother’s wail at the loss of her child. The family held little Cooper, 11 oz and 11 inches long, kissed his nose that resembled his father’s and captured him in our memories. (Read more here of Elizabeth’s story and her involvement in the San Jose, Calif. Promise Walk)

It is in memory of Cooper that I am doing this fundraiser to raise both money for the Preeclampsia Foundation and awareness of this horrific disease.

How did you get started in creating purses? Tell us a little about the products that will be on sale for your Purses for Preeclampsia benefit.

I started my business, Jordana Paige, in 2002 while I was a freshman in college. Unsatisfied with the knitting bags available on the market, I set out to design a handbag that was stylish and function as an organized bag for carrying one’s knitting. From the beginning, my family has supported and encouraged me with my goals. My sister, Elizabeth, has modeled all my designs, both knitting bags and knitwear patterns. She’s become the recognizable face of Jordana Paige.

While Jordana Paige bags are designed with knitters in mind, they are loved by all types of women. All bags have myriad pockets for organizing daily purse items and are roomy, but not over-sized. Five styles in colors ranging from red to bronze to blue and every color in between will be available at Wednesday’s sale. You can find a complete list here.

What is Jordana Paige’s goal in raising money for the Preeclampsia Foundation?

Jordana Paige’s goal is to raise over $10,000 to benefit the Preeclampsia Foundation. I’m confident this goal can be met with your support of purchasing a bag and by spreading the word about the sale through Facebook, Twitter and your favorite social networking site.

If an individual wants to support the sale, what should they do?

The sale is this Wednesday, July 18th. Starting at 8am PST we’ll be releasing a different style and color bag at the top of the hour, every hour until all the bags are gone. All handbags have small imperfections that don’t meet our quality standards. They’re small imperfections like upside-down nameplates, minor flaws on the fabric or inner zipper pockets that have problems zipping properly. All bags will be sold for $50 each with 100% of that money being donated to the Preeclampsia Foundation. More details about the sale are available here.

Be sure to share this blog post, like the Purses for Preeclampsia Facebook page, and Tweet about @JordanaPaige to share details of the sale all day tomorrow.


A Brief Life, Yet Cooper Leaves Legacy

July 7, 2011

A Special Guest Post from San Jose Promise Walk Participant Elizabeth Barnett.

I remember how excited we were when we first found out I was pregnant.  It was November 8, 2010.  I had taken a pregnancy test by myself because I wanted to surprise my husband with the news.  After taking the test I was ecstatic and went to the store where I found a bib that said “Daddy’s hugs are the best.”  My husband gives the best hugs so I thought this was perfect.  I wrapped the bib and went home.  My husband was already home and I could hardly contain myself so I immediately said I had a surprise for him.  He unwrapped the gift and looked at the bib with a bit of a confused look.  It took a little time to register.  I shouted out that I was pregnant!  He was going to be a dad.  Tears of joy just started flowing and we immediately thanked God for the blessing.  In that beautiful moment we had no idea what lay ahead of us. 

At 20 weeks we were told there was a mass on the placenta and our baby hadn’t grown since our 17 week appointment.  We were extremely worried and for the next week I had numerous doctor’s appointments and tests done to try to figure out why our baby wasn’t growing.  Around 22 weeks my feet and legs began swelling.  I assumed this was a normal symptom of pregnancy.  The swelling got worse at 23 weeks with my hands and face swelling overnight.  I was unrecognizable.  I had read a little about preeclampsia but didn’t realize how serious it was.  I had had a busy week and thought I was just on my feet too much and needed to rest.  I drank lots of water and rested all day.  Later that night we took my blood pressure on a home machine.  My blood pressure was really high which was not normal for me.  I was concerned and feeling like something was wrong but knew I had a doctor’s appointment the next day.

At my doctor’s appointment I mentioned I had been experiencing some swelling, my blood pressure was high and I wasn’t feeling well.  The doctor immediately became concerned and had the nurses take my blood pressure.  It was up to 159/111 and there were proteins in my urine.  The doctor sat my husband and I down and that is when everything became a blur.  It all happened so fast.  I was diagnosed with severe preeclampsia and had to get to the hospital immediately.  I would be on bed rest in the hospital until I delivered my baby.  Naively, I was calculating in my head that I would spend 17 weeks in the hospital, not realizing how grave my situation was and how dangerously close to death I had come.

My husband and I went straight to the hospital and called our family on the way.   At the hospital I was immediately hooked up to an IV of magnesium to lower my blood pressure.  My blood pressure was 170/110 when I got there.  They also told us we were having a boy.  Our family arrived at the hospital not long after us so we could explain what was going on and we needed their support.  We were so upset and couldn’t believe how quickly things had taken a downward turn.  The doctor explained all of our options and none of them were good. Our son, Cooper had an 11% chance of surviving and if he did survive, he had a very high chance of having a myriad of problems.

On the morning of March 15, 2011, we chose to induce labor, knowing Cooper most likely would not survive the delivery.  It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make.  As I gave birth to my Cooper, all I could think about was the painful silence: my baby did not cry out to me.  This is not how it’s supposed to be.

Cooper Landon was born at midnight on March 16, 2011 and he didn’t survive.  The nurse immediately handed Cooper to me to hold.  Cooper was a beautiful baby boy.  He was so precious and little, 11 oz. and 11 inches long.  We held Cooper close for a long time and told him we loved him.

After coming home from the hospital, I knew immediately I wanted to do something to make a difference so other families would not have to go through what my family did. Upon hearing of our loss, we had many friends who wanted to make charitable contributions in memory of Cooper.  I began to research online and that is when I discovered the Preeclampsia Foundation.  I also learned there was going to be the first Promise Walk in San Jose on the same date and in the same park my baby shower was going to be.  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend that day.  My family started a team and spread the word.  In a matter of six weeks we had raised $8,000 and about 30 of our family and friends showed up to walk with us.  We were so touched and overwhelmed by all the love and support we felt.  It still brings tears to my eyes.  I know we have already made a difference. 

Today, we are still grieving the loss of Cooper.  Cooper has changed our lives forever and he will never be forgotten.  He will always be our first-born and live in our hearts.  My passion now is to continue to raise awareness about preeclampsia and funds for research.  I supply doctor’s offices with brochures on preeclampsia and share my story whenever possible.  Those are just a couple of ways I help the Preeclampsia Foundation move their mission forward in memory of our son, Cooper Landon.