Andrea Lee and Sam Dulay have two beautiful, healthy children: baby Amara and her three-year-old big brother Riley. But the story of how they became a family is not the standard bedtime tale. Both of Andrea’s deliveries brought life-threatening challenges, including postpartum hemorrhages, and an infection that turned septic.
Despite the gravity of her emergency procedures, the anguish of days spent in intensive care, and the challenges of caring for newborns while recovering, Andrea and her husband Sam have built their family story around gratitude. “We are so thankful to have had access to all the specialists and equipment I needed,” she says, “but that’s not the case for all women.”
On Andrea’s 10th work anniversary, she turned gratitude into action. Her employer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made a gift in her name to the Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns at Swedish. In honor of Amara and Riley, the gift will support underserved communities through scholarships for lactation consultants of color and outreach.
“When patients have lactation consultants who look like them, research shows breast feeding, with all its benefits for babies, is more successful.” – Taralee Adams, D.O., Medical Director, Lytle Center for Pregnancy & Newborns
For Sam, their story shows nothing should be taken for granted. “Life is fragile, and things can change in a second,” he says, remembering Andrea being wheeled away for surgery as he held their minutes-old newborn babies. “But with the right access to care, they can change right back.”
Andrea knows not everyone is as fortunate. For her, raising Amara and Riley to understand their privilege and feel a sense of responsibility to their community is a top priority. “We are raising our children to value equity,” she says. “To know it’s our job to help lift everyone up together.”
Learn how your gift to Swedish can bring stories of hope, healing and wellness to our community at www.swedishfoundation.org.