Get your Kleenex ready, because this is truly a sad story. As much as healthy, uneventful pregnancies and deliveries are the norm in this country, sometimes events take an unexpected turn for the worse. The Washington Post recently ran a story about Shana Greatman Swers, a 35-year-old Maryland woman who kept in touch with friends and family regularly through Facebook. She became a mother in late September and passed away shortly thereafter due to peripartum cardiomyopathy, a rare disorder in which a weakened heart is diagnosed within the final month of pregnancy or within 5 months after delivery (it affects one in every 1,300 – 4,000 deliveries, and the associated death rate may be as high as 25-50%).
With permission from her family, the Post edited and annotated her Facebook page to tell the story of the final months of her life, from pre-baby date nights with her husband Jeff, to the birth of her son Isaac, to her subsequent, repeated hospital stays, ultimately to her tragic and unexpected death, announced on her Facebook page just over a month after her son’s birth.
We’re not kidding about the tissues. Read it and weep—and then go give your kids a hug.