Saturday 24 February 2018

Wexford woman raises awareness about ectopic pregnancy

Kerri Stedman at home with her husband George and children Poppy, Emily and Lucy
Kerri Stedman at home with her husband George and children Poppy, Emily and Lucy

Sara Gahan

A Wexford woman is raising awareness about ectopic pregnancy by running and walking 1,000km.

Kerri Stedman (34) from Ballysillagh, Oylegate, became ill at home during a pregnancy. She thought she might be having a miscarriage and called Wexford General Hospital.

Kerri said: 'One night I started to bleed and had a very bad pain in my shoulders. When I rang the hospital they said for me to come in, but said that if it were a miscarriage there was not much they could do.'

Kerri didn't tell them about the pain in her shoulders as she thought she had just slept awkwardly that night, but soon after being checked in, her symptoms intensified, causing her to collapse on the ward.

'I was rushed to surgery. The results came in and it showed I that I had an ectopic pregnancy. This had caused internal bleeding after my uterus ruptured. The shoulder pain was a symptom of internal bleeding,' said Kerri.

Kerri said that if she been at home when she collapsed she could have died.

An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition that affects one in 80 pregnancies. The fertilised egg implants on the outside of the womb.

'It is the hardest thing I have every been through in my life.

'If my husband hadn't been around through my dark days I don't know where I'd be,' said Kerri.

Kerri lives with her husband and their three children. After her trauma she went on to become pregnant again and gave birth to a healthy baby, who is now three months old.

'Many people don't know that ectopic pregnancy can have an impact on your fertility. You have to wait a certain length before you can become pregnant again,' said Kerri.

Kerri believes that there is a lack of local support for women who have had an ectopic pregnancy. That's why she decided to raise funds for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust and raise awareness around the issue.

'When I was in the hospital I noticed that they had every leaflet from cancer to asthma to miscarriages, but nothing about ectopic pregnancy,' said Kerri.

Kerri is raising money for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust by taking on the 1,000km challenge. She has 12 months to complete 1,000km by either walking or running, and so far has done 60km.

Kerri has set up a page on Facebook called 'From Sofa to 1000km: My Ectopic Pregnancy Trust Challenge'. On the page - which, she says, she finds very therapeutic - Kerri keeps her followers up to date on her progress and talks about what she is going through emotionally.

As part of her fundraising, Ajax Athletic soccer club's committee members are going to sponsor Kerri and train with her for the Hell and Back challenge this year.

To support Kerri, visit her Facebook page 'From Sofa to 1000km: My Ectopic Pregnancy Trust Challenge'

Enniscorthy Guardian

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