Local Mother's Walk for Children [VIDEO]
Jessie Lee's video of her son Ryan has gone viral and even Bravo's Real Housewives have viewed the video.
Two years ago, Jessie Lee was recovering from major back surgery and caring for an 8-week-old, premature baby.
"I had a normal pregnancy with my first born son," said Lee who lives in Shrewsbury. "But when I was 30 weeks along with my second son, Ryan, the doctors wanted to take him early because of my back problems."
Lee said the second pregnancy was quite different from her first. She had severe hip and what was later diagnosed as back problems because a disc on her vertebrae that had slipped back causing her not to be able to even stand up straight or sleep on her back.
She was admitted into UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and the doctors wanted to immediately take her baby.
"I wouldn't let them take him," she said. "I was talking with my mom on the phone, who's a nurse and she really helped talked me through it."
Lee knew her son's lungs weren't fully developed at the time and she said she knew she wanted to wait at least two weeks.
The doctors agreed to wait and she stayed in the hospital and was observed. While she was in the hospital, they kept her on as much pain medication as she could take while pregnant.
When she was told she was going to give birth, the March of Dimes came to talk to her and her husband, Erik, about what to expect when giving birth and caring for a premature baby.
"They were so fantastic and answered all our questions and concerns," she said. "Ryan was born and he was 6 pounds, which was good because he breathed on his own within a day."
She then had back surgery a few days later and had to recover from a c-section and back surgery while caring for a newborn baby.
"I had a longer recovery than Ryan—he was out of the hospital in a week, but I had to get my strength back, but Ryan has been healthy ever since," she said. "He has some allergies, but other than that, he's a happy, healthy boy."
Ryan was born in February and a few weeks after that, Lee heard of a March of Dimes walk in Worcester. "I started to train for the walk by taking Ryan to Elm Park in Worcester and doing laps around the park," she said. "And my husband's company matched what we raised."
Lee really wanted to give back after the experience her family went through and how much they learned that the March of Dimes helps when families are in need.
"Ryan had a very quick recovery, but it opens your eyes to what other families go through," said Lee, because Ryan was 6 pounds, he had a lot less complications than other babies born at 32/33 weeks. "And this year, I wanted to raise as much as we could, so my brother asked if he could put together a video for the cause."
Lee's brother, Mike Lemovitz of Whitewall Films in Worcester, created a video and Lee took the video to Twitter. "I wanted it to go viral and it did—it's even got attention from some of Bravo's Real Housewives cast from New Jersey who re-tweeted it to their fans and friends," she said. "Jacqueline's daughter, Ashley, of New Jersey, was the first to respond and then her mom responded and said she was going to walk in a local walk by her because one of her children was born premature."
Lee's goal is to reach $2,500 by the walk in April. She has surpassed that goal and fundraising has reached almost $2,800 thanks to her local and online efforts. To donate, visit Ryan's website.
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