We are a group of educators and advocates who seek to make a profound impact at the patient & provider level, in education, advocacy & support. Providing birthing people and families with compassionate support, evidence-based information, and tools to advocate for themselves and others.
This is the story of a small group of tenacious women, and a farmer from rural Iowa. Stay with me.
A few like-minded women found each other online in the early 2000's while looking to connect with others who had lived the same experience in pregnancy, and to find out what happened to them through study of evidence-based research. Eventually they ended up on Facebook. Working diligently online for more than a decade they have provided evidence-based information on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy to others; explaining pathogenesis, mechanisms, and debunking the myths that are so very dangerous to high-risk pregnant women. The Preeclampsia, Eclampsia & HELLP Syndrome Survivors (PEHSS) Facebook group was born. At this point, we had over 10,000 members in more than 100 countries and were growing at a rate of 400+ members per month. We work diligently to reduce the conspiracy theories, opinions, myths, and feel good woo that abounds, and which has potential to harm and undo the education our group has strived to provide. This group of women and their dedication to truth saw science and fact beginning to prevail as our FB group grew faster than the other groups. Our numbers soared, our active participation skyrocketed, and we became the Premier FB support group for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Doctors and midwives began sending their patients to us, nurses come to us seeking advocacy for their patients, women come in search of their future health, and researchers realize we are a huge sample population.
Around the same time, a middle-aged farmer from rural Iowa named John Warner lost his adult daughter, Shelly Warner Bridgewater, due to preeclampsia & HELLP syndrome, a week after she delivered her only child, Hailey. John, with his wife Brenda, vowed to educate everyone they could, so that no one else would ever die from preeclampsia, like their daughter. A charitable foundation, Shelly Bridgewater Dreams Foundation (SBDF), formed to benefit the University of Iowa Hospitals OBGyn Department. This group of dedicated volunteers developed a number of fundraising an awareness events. They were looking to grow, just as PEHSS was looking to expand, and we determined that our joining forces would prove beneficial for each group. SBDF had in-person events, in-hospital programs, and had developed fundraising strategies that were successful, but lacked the online presence and larger global community access to grow. PEHSS lacked in everything SBDF had mastered. Together, they were a perfect match. With common goals and synergistic missions, our groups decided to merge in 2018 to form EndPreeclampsia, Inc, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit.
Our mission is to provide women and families with compassionate support, evidence-based information, and tools to advocate for themselves and others. We encourage patients and their healthcare providers to have open, honest communication; a Patient-Provider Partnership. We will continue our grass-root efforts of more than a decade, to reach women with probable diagnosis, those in crisis, post crisis, and those who are years postpartum looking for health resources as they find links to chronic disease later in life. We are focused on the Patient Education, Advocacy and Support that is so desperately needed, to save lives NOW. We know we are saving lives and we are proud and honored to continue our life's work here, and train the next generation so that every woman is aware, armed with information and resources, and feels confident in her voice to advocate for herself. Education. Advocacy. Support.