“My world stopped in that moment. We were walking the dogs, talking with excitement about putting together the nursery for our baby and suddenly he fell, unconscious, onto the pavement.”
At 9 weeks pregnant Ali faced a new challenge – taking care of not only herself and her baby, but also her fiancé, Brandon, who at age 34 had fallen into cardiac arrest and placed on life support.
“I didn’t know how or who he would be when he woke up. I didn’t know when he would wake up. Would he remember me?”
When he opened his eyes and recognized me for the first time, it was the closest I’ve ever felt to him,” noted Ali. “There was never any question in my mind that I would take the time off work to care for him, get him healthy again, and we would work to be the strongest parents for our baby boy.”
After an internal defibrillator was implanted in Brandon’s heart, Ali joined Brandon in solidarity with his new doctor-ordered diet recommendations and exercise regimen.
“The balancing act is real!” said Ali who was busy taking care of herself, baby, and Brandon. “I have an incredible support system, and I learned that it’s okay to ask for help and lean on others. We have amazing family, friends and neighbors who brought meals, stayed with our dogs, mowed the lawn, took out our trash and made sure I was eating and taking care of the baby.
“Truth be told, I haven’t focused on myself that much in the last 12 weeks because I’m still so worried about Brandon. I’m trying to be better at that, especially now that I’m growing a child. It’s a lot of responsibility.
“It’s a mother’s greatest challenge to worry about the health of her children, but I also must be conscious of Brandon’s health and my own. It will become a family effort, and something that I’ll be sure our son is educated on as he grows up. I want us to set a good example for him.”
VSP recognizes that moms are often the chief medical officers of their households, on call 24/7, and the first line of defense when it comes to their family’s overall health, including eye health. This post is part of our #WeSeeYouMom profile series designed to celebrate those who work tirelessly to raise strong and healthy families of all kinds.