Clayton event calls attention to deadly pregnancy complication

Photo by Beairshelle Edmé/CBS North Carolina

CLAYTON, N.C. (WNCN) — Dozens came to the East Clayton Community Park Saturday to raise funds and awareness for a pregnancy complication that can be deadly.

Participants completed the 8th annual Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, which was sponsored by The Preeclampsia Foundation.

“It’s amazing, brings tears to my eyes. It’s awesome,” walk organizer, Molly Herring said when describing the event.

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The disorder usually occurs halfway through a pregnancy.

Doctors typically get tipped off to the complication when a pregnant woman has dangerously high blood pressure. Physicians can also diagnosis the disorder through urine tests, which will show a high level of a protein.

The disorder is one of the leading causes of premature birth and it threatens a mother’s life.

“It was that appointment that we heard about it (preeclampsia), then we delivered that night,” said Katee Sissler, who suffered from preeclampsia during her pregnancy. “It was terrifying, and it’s a long road ahead after that. It impacts you for the rest of your life and your children.”

“For me, my momma had it, which was known toxemia, and now preeclampsia. I delivered at 28 weeks (with a) 2 pound, 12 ounces little girl and she’s now six and healthy and happy,” added Herring, who also suffered from the condition.

The local women say one of the largest issues is awareness of the condition’s symptoms.

According to the Mayo Clinic, any of the following could be a sign of the disorder: severe headaches, changes in vision, upper abdominal pain, usually under ribs on the right side, and/or decreased urine output.

“Just really be aware of your symptoms and make sure you go to regular check-ups and you’re checking your blood pressure and being aware of the signs,” explained Ethalee Mcdonald, an organizer of Saturday’s walk who also suffered from preeclampsia.

Saturday’s event also included raffles to raise more money for research.

For more information about the condition, visit here.

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