Today I'm going to leave you with an article from the Jeffersonian Democrat that really touched my heart.
'A Promise for Preston' Wednesday, April 6, 2011
COOLSPRING - Alison Brownlee did not plan on becoming an Ambassador Family for the March for Babies. Nor did she did not plan on losing her first born child but that loss led her to the March for Babies.
"My husband Michael and I care deeply about the mission of improving the health of babies," said the Coolspring resident.
"Michael and I married in 2006 and like all young couples; we looked forward to starting our family and welcoming children into our lives," said the former Alison Hoffman. "During our first pregnancy, I was diagnosed with kidney stones and was admitted to the hospital for pain control, we did not expect this to affect our unborn baby. The doctors ran routine blood work finding that my blood platelets were low, my liver enzymes were high, and my organs were failing. After speaking with my doctors, the conclusion determined was that I was experiencing HELLP Syndrome, a severe, life-threatening form of Pre-Eclampsia. During this time baby Preston was showing no signs of distress, good heartbeat, and great brain activity.
"Preston Michael Brownlee was born April 24, 2007 at 10:10 am. He was two pounds, 11 ounces 15 inches long," said Alison. "That little boy gave us the most beautiful cry, which is embedded in my memory forever.
"Family and friends flooded the maternity ward to see us. Preston did great that day and night," she said. "His condition took a turn for the worst the following morning. His lungs began to bleed and the hospital we were at did not have the specialized machine needed. Preston was to be transported to another hospital but due to weather, they could not land the chopper and it was too late to go by ambulance. Without the machine they told us it was up to him. Our little baby had to fight.
Preston passed away due to respiratory distress syndrome. "He was here, he was real and he lived one magical day," said his mother.
"March for Babies was scheduled the following year on Sunday, April 19th, which is close to Preston's birthday, so we celebrated his life by participating in the walk with family and friends," said Alison. "We continue to celebrate his birthday every year at March for Babies, raising awareness of the mission and raising funds for research."
The Brownlee's second child, daughter Avrey, was born at 39 weeks weighing 6 pounds and 12 ounces. "As you can imagine, we were very worried throughout our pregnancy. The doctors had me take extra folic acid, a baby aspirin daily, and monitored our pregnancy closely," said Alison. "She will soon be celebrating her third birthday."
The couple's third child, son Colin, was born at 39 weeks, weighting 8 pounds and 14 ounces. "Again our pregnancy was carefully monitored and like our other two children, Colin was delivered by c-section. He is a happy healthy baby boy," said Alison. "We are blessed to have two healthy children but we will never fully recover from the loss of our first child.
"We all go into pregnancy expecting a healthy newborn," she said. "But some women face serious illnesses during pregnancy. One out of every eight babies in the nation is born preterm. Three out of every 100 babies born in the nation is born with a birth defect. Not all of these babies survive. Those that do may face developmental delays. Many will catch-up with early intervention and quality pediatric care, but not all are as blessed.
"My family and I thank you for participating in March for Babies. The researches funded by March of Dimes will some day bring new advances that will improve the health of women and their babies here in Clarion and across the nation," she said. "Together, we can fund research that can improve their chances for survival. Thanks for joining us in taking BIG steps for some very tiny feet. "
'Helping to Keep the Promise' Wednesday, April 6, 2011
COOLSPRING - Michael, Alison, Avrey and Colin Brownlee have formed a team, "Promise for Preston," for the March for Babies on May 1. "We will be marching to help premature babies and to remember Preston and all the other babies that were taken too soon," said Alison Brownlee.
"We would liek to thank everyone involved with the last years walk. Promise for Preston was the top family team," she said. As the Ambassador Family, the Brownlees will be telling their story.
"This is just another way to celebrate Preston and also educate people about pregnancy complications," said Alison.
"We are looking to help everyone with fundraising this year. Please give us any suggestions you have on fun ways to collect," said Alison. "The March of Dimes is looking for more teams to get involved. If you know of anyone that would like to add a team let us know and we can help get them set up."
To walk with the families please call or visit: www.marchforbabies.org/promiseforpreston
From there click on the link "walk with me" and sign up to participate.
If you are unable to join but would still like to donate follow the same website and then click on "donate now" on the right hand side. Or mail donations to P.O. Box 25 Coolspring, PA 15730. Feel free to call with questions (814) 715-0993.