When a family is expecting a baby, there's so much excitement and anticipation. But what happens when that joy is suddenly replaced by postpartum depression? One local father took action and made us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.
Bill Vehovic and his son, Elliot, are best friends. From the moment Elliot was born 5 years ago, he's been the center of Vehovic's world.
"Preparing his nursery, painting the walls, building the bed, it probably actually was the best time of my life," Vehovic said.
But, after Elliot's birth, everything changed when Vehovic found his wife, Noona, overcome with emotion.
"I woke up to find my wife sitting on the floor in the corner of the room crying and my son was downstairs crying," Vehovic said.
Right away, Vehovic, who works for UPMC, knew his wife was in crisis with postpartum depression. Noona was admitted to UPMC Magee and started intensive therapy. But, as Noona slowly started to heal, Vehovic realized their entire family dynamic had been rocked.
"I was so focused on my son and my wife that I became very isolated," Vehovic said.
That's when he had an idea: Take something he loves, like golf and use it to raise money to start a program for other families. He called it "Pars for Postpartum Depression."
In its second year, he's already raised $52,000. Vehovic took that money to Dr. Priya Gopalan at Western Psych to develop a family support group.
Western Psych Liason Service Director, Dr. Priya Gopalan said "The premise and the idea of setting up these support groups, was to really help him and other fathers and partners like him to get the support that they need."
With their newfound strength, Bill and Noona Vehovic are also starting to think about baby No. 2.
"She's ready to roll. Yeah, she's feeling good about it. I'm the one who's actually more nervous," said Vehovic said.
It's his love of family and community that make us Proud to be from Pittsburgh.
For more information on Bill's golf outing or UPMC and Western Psych's new family support group, Click on the links:
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