Oftentimes, when we lose a family member to a disease, it inspires our own health journey. That was the case for Leslie Jordan, whose family is full of doctors and nurses.
She learned about heart disease at a young age after losing several family members.
“Watch out for diabetes. Look out for your blood pressure, hypertension. Those were things I learned at a young age,” she tells ESSENCE. “I never thought I would have to use the knowledge.”
Unfortunately, she would have to use the knowledge.
After becoming pregnant with her first child, Jordan was in high spirits. Because she had been healthy her whole life, she believed she would be fine.
Despite being healthy and remaining healthy throughout her pregnancy, the 38-year-old was diagnosed with preeclampsia.
“I was absolutely devastated,” she recalls. “I had done everything I could to have the healthiest pregnancy. Even some of the dietary restrictions, I followed. I added to my diet. I was exercising. I was doing everything. So when I got the diagnosis it was like, ‘What are you talking about?’”
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A successful birth, followed by a health decline
As she neared the end of her pregnancy, Jordan remained optimistic, leaning closely on her obstetrician, who assured her that she would be fine. In 2018, Jordan had a successful delivery, giving birth to a healthy boy. Although this should have been the happiest time in her life, she immediately felt her health decline after giving birth.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I just had a baby, maybe this is how you feel,” she recalls thinking, according to ESSENCE. “I was like, let me just rest, relax and be in the moment. The baby is healthy, passing all his tests. That’s what’s important.”
Several hours later, she was dealing with a headache that wouldn’t cease and trying to recover from the birth. Her condition worsened. She was prescribed several medications while doctors ran tests to figure out what was going on with her.
Her condition was so bad that at one point, she couldn’t