My son Hugo was born on 20 February 2014.
I was only 24 weeks' pregnant: Hugo had to be born by emergency Caesarean section because I had the rare, life-threatening pregnancy illness HELLP syndrome. HELLP syndrome is a complication of pre-eclampsia, and will cause multiple organ failure if left untreated (for more information about HELLP syndrome please visit http://headspace-perspective.com/2014/04/21/hellp-raise-awareness/).
Sadly, despite every possible treatment being tried Hugo was too small and premature. Hugo died in my arms, aged 35 days.
I am doing the Awesomeness Challenge on 20 February 2017. The aim of the challenge is to raise awareness of:
- HELLP syndrome;
- premature babies, and the battles they face;
- Baby loss, and the need for bereaved parents to receive timely support;
- Living with grief; and living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
I have chosen to do this challenge on 20 February because it celebrates my beautiful boy's birthday, and the fact that I could have died the same day but I am still here.
Why a fitness challenge in particular, you may ask? Fitness has been key in helping me manage my PTSD. I want to show others that living with grief, and PTSD has many challenges but a positive life IS possible.
The distances and repetitions in the fitness challenge have relevance to Hugo's life, and to HELLP syndrome.
- 420 metre run (Hugo weighed just 420 grams, less than a pound, when he was born).
- 24 TRX rows (I was 24 weeks' pregnant when Hugo was born).
- 600 metres on the ski ergo (my LFTs - liver enzymes - were 600, which is several times higher than normal).
- 14 press ups with leg jacks from a Bosu (to signify the year)
- 20 burpee box jumps (20 February)
- 50 second plank (my platelet level was 50. Platelets are what helps the blood to clot, and normal levels start at around 150)
- 1.8 km bike (I lost 1800ml, or just over 3 pints, of blood during the C section)
- 16 sandbell rainbow slams (Hugo was 16 weeks premature)
- 36 kettle bell goblet squats (I spent 36 hours in intensive care after Hugo's birth)
- 35 mummy sit ups (Hugo lived for 35 days)
- 7 boxing combos (my haemoglobin levels were 7, less than half of the bottom end of the healthy range, when Hugo was born - acute anaemia is a key symptom of HELLP syndrome)
- 2013 m row (my blood pressure was around 200/130 - hypertensive crisis, and at significant risk of stroke)
I’m fundraising for Tommy’s who provide expert advice and fund pioneering research to prevent stillbirth, miscarriage and premature birth. Your sponsorship allows Tommy’s to continue their vital work – in short you’re helping save babies' lives. Please give generously, your support means the world to me.
I'll be sharing my training progress on Instagram (@leighakendall) and
on Facebook (Headspace Perspective) - please do pop along and support me!
PREFER TO DONATE BY TEXT?
Send the code HCDP90 and your amount £x to 70070.
(HCDP is Hugo’s initials: Hugo Christopher Dylan Parker).