When Jessica Iasparro takes the starting line at this weekend's State Street Mile, she'll be returning to a race she first ran in 1991. She almost didn't make it this year.
Jessica's three-month old Isabel is one of six. What was to be a smooth delivery, quickly took a turn for the worst.
"I was in and having the baby within ten minutes after things started going poorly so there wasn't time to think," said Jessica.
She needed an emergency C-section.
"Next thing you know we're running down the hall with her, we took her down to surgery where she lost quite a bit of blood," recalled SwedishAmerican RNC-OB Amanda Merideth.
A runner since age 19, nothing prepared Jessica for a medical marathon.
"One thing I remember the most from Jessica is her grabbing my hand, asking if she was going to die. A question no nurse wants to hear. But of course, we'll do everything we can and I told her she would be just fine," said Merideth.
SwedishAmerican's team answered the call.
"I saw her in the recovery room. She was talking to me. She looked great. The next time i came in on my next shift, I went up to see her and she looked like a whole new person."
"I felt good pretty quickly. I was really excited to get back to working out when she gave me the go ahead at six weeks," said Iasparro.
Three months after Isabel's arrival, Jessica is ready to run again.
"I really love racing. I know i'm not in great shape this year. Every year I go to the State Street Mile, I think can I break five minutes, am I going to win?"
This race will feel a little bit different.
"I'm so excited three months out from these surgeries and having the baby, I'll just be at the starting line."
An athlete overcoming harrowing adversity, Jessica has a message for her very young daughter.
"Encourage her to be active, and hopefully be a runner."
She was told she needed 90 days to recover, but Jessica Iasparro is back on her feet, with a family fan club cheering her on all the way to the finish line.
The 33rd annual State Street Mile is this Saturday in Rockford.