On January 5, 2015, Sara McEown, one of our most dedicated clients, was 25 weeks pregnant. She was discussing with her perinatologist the plan to get her unborn baby to 28 weeks gestation. An early arrival was almost certain because Sara was in early labor for the second time (after almost delivering her first child at only 29 weeks). Doctors told Sara that the 28-week mark gives a baby an 85% chance of survival. Shockingly, less than 24 hours later, Sadie came into the world weighing 2 pounds, 2.6 ounces and facing an extraordinary battle to live.
"We were terrified and hopeful all at the same time," Sara said. "She received incredible care from the doctors and nurses in the Presby Dallas NICU. They also taught us a whole new language about the problems and treatments for micro-preemie babies."
Sadie fought hard to overcome one of two heart defects, respiratory distress and a whole list of "terribles" to leave the hospital after only 76 days. Sara soon began connecting with other moms of preemies. She explained that they have an instant understanding of each other's struggles. "We really wanted to share our story–to share our knowledge so that it might help other families. We were looking to pay it forward," she said.
Sara's passion to share her family's journey soon rose to new heights as a mutual friend introduced her to the March of Dimes' executive director of the Dallas division, Charmaine Tang (pictured on left with Sara), also the mother of a premature child. There was an instant connection with Charmaine and the March of Dimes, the organization that developed some of the treatments that Sadie received while in the hospital.
With a toddler and an infant as well as a successful law practice, Sara soon added the role of fundraiser and speaker for the fight against premature birth. "One in nine babies is born prematurely in the United States, about 380,000 each year. It is the number one killer of babies and there is critical research underway to discover why this complex problem occurs and how to eliminate it altogether," she said.
In March, Studio 6 Fitness hosted a March of Dimes fundraiser class. Thank you to all the strong moms who came to support Sara and Sadie!
So, this Mother’s Day weekend, we are MEGAproud to celebrate Sara McEown and her daughter Sadie the Strong. They are role models of strength and beauty for all of us!
If you would like to learn more about the McEown’s journey, please visit their March of Dimes website.