In honor of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month, we want to recognize families who have lost loved ones to PKD. We recently reached out to Marquila Turner, a member of the North Texas Chapter, to hear her story and honor the lives of her sons:
On Dec. 30, 2009, I lost my first son to ARPKD. During my pregnancy, I had no idea I was a carrier and was never tested. My sonograms showed he had enlarged kidneys, an enlarged heart, and that his lungs were not fully developed. After I gave birth, he lived for an hour. During my six week check up I was told this wouldn’t happen again, so I was scared to have kids. I now have a 9-year-old daughter and she’s fine.
Eight years after losing my first son, I decided to try again and this time I had a high-risk doctor. Everything went well until I was 26 weeks along and my sonogram showed my second son had low amniotic fluid and kidneys so enlarged, we couldn’t check his lungs’ development. I was tested and my son’s diagnosis came back as Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). The doctor explained to me what ARPKD was but I was still confused because I had never heard of it. I went home and started researching so I could learn more.
At 33 weeks, another sonogram showed that my baby boy’s kidneys and stomach had gotten larger and I started panicking and getting scared. Just four weeks later, at 37 weeks, I gave birth to my prince Cameron and he lived for 11 hours. During those 11 hours I got to read him a book, bathe him, feed him, talk and play with him and much more. After, I fell into depression and was scared to even get pregnant again.
Without the support of my family, friends and co-workers, I don’t know where I would be. I’m also grateful for the support I’ve found with the PKD Foundation. I walked at this year’s Austin Walk For PKD on April 14 and got to engage with people and family members of people with PKD. I learned a lot from them. I will walk again at this year’s North Texas Walk For PKD on Oct. 27 as a member of the Chapter.
I want to help others mothers and families who have been affected by this disease. It would mean a lot to me because when losing a loved one, being supported and having comfort from someone who understands what you are going through is very helpful. There were no words or advice I wanted to hear when I lost my sons. I simply wanted someone to be by my side every day, to have a shoulder to lean on and let me cry it out and have someone to show pictures of my sons. I want other mothers and families to know that they are not going through this alone.
What’s your PKD story? Share with our community on the Voices of PKD page.