Team #HARRYSTRONG Runs Akron Marathon For NICU Babies And Staff
June 21, 2016 by Alissa Hazlett
Rebecca Brockmeyer walked into her 36-week OB check-up thinking it was a regular visit, but she walked out with life-changing news. Her baby had fluid in his abdomen and she needed to rush to Akron Children’s Hospital’s maternal fetal medicine center.
“Hearing those words was soul crushing because I had heard those words before when we were pregnant with our first baby boy. He had a condition called hydrops, and it turned out from the ultrasound that this baby had it as well,” said Rebecca. “We lost our first son and I was petrified that the same outcome would occur with this baby, our precious baby Harry.”
Rebecca was sent to Summa Akron City Hospital for an emergency C-section.
“As I sat in the labor and delivery room waiting for everything to take place I had the worst gut-wrenching feeling that this would not go well,” Rebecca said. “I felt like I would not bring my baby home.”
Rebecca’s son, Harry, was born with a 30 percent chance of survival and was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Akron Children’s Hospital, where he spent the next 73 days fighting for his life.
“His will to live inspired me to change so much about myself that I didn’t even realize needed changed,” Rebecca said. “I learned to enjoy each moment because there are far too few of them.”
Rebecca credits Akron Children’s doctors and nurses in the NICU with saving Harry’s life. That’s why she signed up to be a Children’s Champion when she and her husband, Nate, registered for the relay portion of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay presented by FirstEnergy.
“They showed us such dedication and knowledge and genuine sympathy that we decided that we wanted to do whatever we can to give back to the hospital,” Rebecca said.
Rebecca and Nate named their relay team “team #HARRYSTRONG” for their son and other NICU babies, as well as the doctors and nurses who fight for them.
This will be Rebecca’s first time participating in a race and she wants to be a healthy, good example for her children.
“The hospital needs us! It’s just that simple,” Rebecca said. “Without champions there would be so many programs that would be unavailable to these children in need. These programs really do make many of these kids’ day and help their parents breathe a little easier, too.”
Rebecca and Nate are breathing a little easier now because Harry is doing great and doesn’t have any long-term issues as a result of his initial diagnosis.