SERIES: Healthcare in America #13, Carmen Lyra, This Is the Bronx

This is part of an ongoing series that gives Bronx writers a chance to share their personal stories on the state of healthcare in America.

by Carmen Lyra,  August 26, 2018

I love teaching. I began my career in bi-lingual education, then taught HS Spanish, and then Special Education. Colleagues, administrators, students, their families often tell me I’m good at what I do. My healthcare story began two and a half years ago.

Part I: My life explodes into a healthcare nightmare

I was six months pregnant, with three wonderful kids, and teaching at a private school focused on special needs students when I was diagnosed with preeclampsia and severe ante-natal depression. I was prescribed total bed rest. 

Here I was, in a high-risk pregnancy that can lead to HELLP syndrome, a life-threatening complication that had recently almost killed a good friend of mine. I already knew American women can and do die from this; it’s part of why the US is the only country with rising maternal mortality. I knew I needed pre-natal medical visits and medical care to save my baby — and to save my own life. The idea of leaving my three older children motherless terrified me.

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