My Personal Fundraising Page
My HELLP Syndrome Story
On July 17, 2018 I was admitted to Brigham and Women's with Class 1 HELLP Syndrome. HELLP Syndrome is part of the Preeclampsia family and is a very rare and extreme case. Class 1 is categorized as the most severe case of HELLP which often ends in death of both the baby and the mother. When I was admitted I was in the early stages of liver failure, showing signs of a stroke and my body was killing off all my platelets. Doctors didn't know how they were going to deliver Will in fear I would internally bleed from the spinal tap needed for a c-section or would bleed out from a normal delivery. I was immediately assigned to a risk management team to determine the best path that would save both our lives.
I remember laying in the hospital bed in excruciating pain, but feeling a calmness as I had accepted that I might not make it and my only fear was losing my unborn son. So I continuously prayed to my mom to save him. I watched my husband be outwardly strong and calm for my sake, but could see the worry and fear in his eyes. I watched doctors have meetings and explain to me that they didn't know how they were going to deliver my son due to the multiple complications in each scenario, but that they would find a way. I felt the incredible kindness of each nurse as they would rub my back and tell me it was going to be okay. And I experienced the whole delivery floor rally behind me as they made it their mission to save us. Failure was not an option for them.
After many hours of deliberation and discussions on the best path forward it finally came to a head the next day when they realized the Magnesium Sulfate was not stopping the stroke and if they waited any longer to deliver Will both of us would most likely not make it. My body was starting to shut down. They immediately began giving me a platelet transfusion in hopes it would be enough to support a spinal tap and emergency c-section. My levels technically weren't high enough for the spinal tap, but even 5,000 short they decided it was worth the risk. 35 minutes later William Paul Rushworth entered the world. He was immediately taken to the NICU and I was taken to be monitored as I wasn't out of the woods yet. It would be well over 12 hours before my nurse would sneak me upstairs to hold my son for the first time. It would be another 10 days before I was released from the hospital and 14 days before Will would be. It was a long two-week journey for our family, but we were and are lucky. We had doctors and nurses who were the best of the best. They performed a true miracle and saved our lives.
The last two years I have learned more and more about HELLP Syndrome and the impact that it and preeclampsia/postcplamsia have. Prior to this, I had never heard or HELLP or understood the magnitude of it. I am still learning about this rare condition as are doctors, but one thing is certain- although it is extremely rare it is on the rise as is Preeclampsia. More and more women are developing these complications. It's extremely important to me to help raise money, awareness and ultimately a cure. I am fortunate enough to have a cardiologist at MGH who has been researching HELLP as well as preeclampsia and is determined to figure out its correlation to heart disease and prevention, but until there is an understanding of its root causes, education and resources are what we can strive to improve.
I would appreciate your support for our walk as it's going to a cause near and dear to our family's hearts. Every penny counts!