Pre-Eclampsia Stories - ANNE HALLY'S STORY

After two miscarriages, I was thrilled to find I was pregnant and doing well. At 23 weeks, my feet had become so swollen with fluid that I found it difficult to wear shoes, but I thought this was quite normal in pregnancy. At 25 weeks, the swelling spread to my hands and face, I couldn't open my eyes because of the fluid. The local GP said it was an allergy. Blood pressure was slightly raised; I had severe headaches, indigestion and heartburn. At 26 weeks, the obstetrician found my blood pressure and protein was extremely high.

I was told I would die if I wasn't delivered within 24 hours. He took me immediately by taxi to the hospital for an emergency Caesarean section, but delivery was delayed by 24 hours as the risk of heart attack or stroke was so great. The next day, under general anesthetic, my daughter Brooke was born, weighing (804gm) llb 12.5oz. It was discovered that I had had an abruption and a huge blood clot had formed between the placenta and my baby daughter. Her chances of survival had dropped from 30 percent to 10 percent. Brooke struggled long and hard for life.

After delivery I lapsed into a coma, lasting six days. The massive amounts of fluid made my brain swell, causing vivid hallucinations, aggressive behaviour and fear for my life. I was blinded for a period of time, alternating with double vision. Even today, it's hard to believe that I lost six days out of both our lives.

On day six I saw my beautiful daughter for the first time. She was so tiny and grey-looking. The ventilator tube took up most of her face. There was very little of her that I could touch, due to all the tubes and equipment attached to her. I didn't feel like a mother. I couldn't hold my baby.
Brooke had sustained severe brain damage as a result of Pre-eclampsia. I cried an ocean of tears.
My little miracle, Brooke, came home 93 days later. With her she brought much love and happiness. Her struggle for life ended thirteen months and eighteen days later. But she leaves us with much determination and inspiration.

This is the first time I have put pen to paper to publicly share my experience, in the hope that I can help other bereaved parents