Families will gather today to raise awareness of preeclampsia

WALKER, Mi (WOOD) — A woman in Grand Rapids is joining other women today to raise awareness about preeclampsia, a condition that affects pregnant women after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Juliet Meyer is the president of the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia. She was diagnosed with the condition last August while she was expecting her second child.

“It was very scary. I hadn’t heard of preeclampsia before this. So it was all new to me. It was the scariest moment of my life,” Meyer said.

Preeclampsia affects a pregnant woman’s blood pressure and kidneys. It can lead to dangerous and life-threatening complications for the mother and her baby.

It’s something Meyer says she experienced when she suddenly gained 70 pounds of fluid as her kidneys began to fail.

She was hospitalized for five days before undergoing an emergency C-section. After her birth, her daughter spent nearly three months in the NICU.

“In fact, I had another incident where I was just a few minutes away from dying. That’s how serious this is,” she said. “I had 10 minutes to say goodbye to family and friends before I was taken to a second and third emergency surgery where I then had to follow up with physical therapy and was in a wheelchair for five weeks.”

Meyer says that she and her baby, now 10 months old, are thriving now. Her experience has encouraged her to share her personal story to bring to light something that almost took her life.

“Currently there are no medications for preeclampsia. They’re finding that there are different recipes that might help and ease it up a bit, but that’s a lot that we’re fundraising to try to
discover a cure or a cause for why this happens to so many women,” Meyer said.

You can join Meyer and other women for an awareness walk at the Grant Pavilion located in Millennium Park. Registration will begin at 10 a.m. The walk will begin at 11 a.m.

Grand Rapids Gold members will be in attendance. There will also be food and games for children.

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