Goodman’s Named the Atlanta Promise Walk for Preeclampsia Mission Family Calling Attention to Serious Pregnancy Disorder Affecting Mothers and Babies
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The Preeclampsia Foundation is pleased to announce that Alissa Goodman and her family are the 2018 Atlanta, GA Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™ Mission Family. As this year’s face of preeclampsia, the Goodman’s will lead the Promise Walk campaign by sharing their compelling childbirth story, and encouraging teams around the city to meet or exceed their fundraising goals.
“We are humbled and honored to be chosen as the 2018 Mission Family for the Atlanta Promise Walk. I hope to use my family's experience to help others dealing with preeclampsia,” says Goodman.
Alissa didn’t exactly have a smooth pregnancy, and dealt with several complications, but what doctors didn’t know was that she actually had preeclampsia. It wasn’t until 12 days postpartum when her vision was blurry and she had a massive migraine, that eclampsia had set in. From the other room, her husband heard her gasping for air and found her in the middle of tonic clonic seizures. 2 days later she woke up in the ICU, nearly blind, unable to speak, and in tremendous amounts of pain – only to be told that she’d been in the hospital for days after suffering from seizures and being on the brink of death.
All in all, her injuries were substantial and she is extremely lucky to be alive. Her blood pressure had shot up to 240, which caused significant brain damage and swelling in multiple brain lobes due to a condition called PRES (posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome). “The PRES then caused the seizures – too many to count. I also suffered respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, severe sepsis, a heart attack due to the stress put on my heart, daily migraines, a herniated disc in my neck, re-injury of a previous shoulder problem, a nerve disorder, and PTSD,” says Goodman.
Over the coming months, she began her recovery. Getting better and managing her disability felt like a full-time job - so many doctors’ appointments and tests, five months of physical therapy, and more prescriptions than one could count. “It was a struggle, but thanks to the support of my husband, I began to make progress and eventually went back to work in November. I am still dealing with doctors and medication for the residual migraines and nerve pain caused by the PRES, which may never go away, but I am light years ahead of where I was last summer,” says Goodman.
Seeking more information about their family’s traumatic pregnancy experience, The Goodman’s turned to the Preeclampsia Foundation website and the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia as a source of information and to receive support.
Through the Foundation’s educational programs, Alissa and her family were able to learn about preeclampsia, and network with a community of preeclampsia survivors. She also began serving on the Preeclampsia Foundation’s Patient Advisory Council.
“I feel very strongly that part of the reason my life was spared may be so that I can help spread awareness and fight this terrible disease,” says Goodman.
The Preeclampsia Foundation is the only national nonprofit patient advocacy organization for the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Through their national fundraising event The Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, the Preeclampsia Foundation works to achieve its mission to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices.
“This family is the face of the mission for the Promise Walk and represent the reason that our Foundation continues working to help save the lives of mothers and their babies,” explained Preeclampsia Foundation Executive Director Eleni Tsigas.
Alissa Goodman and her family will kick off the festivities and share their inspiring story at the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia, on May 19th at Mason Mill Park. To register, visit: www.promisewalk.org/ATL.
About Preeclampsia: Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period, and affects both the mother and the fetus. It is a rapidly progressive condition characterized by elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine; other symptoms may include swelling in the hands and face, headaches, and visual disturbances. Preeclampsia affects the mother's kidneys, liver and other vital organs and, if undetected or untreated, can lead to seizures (eclampsia), cerebral hemorrhage, failure in vital organs and death. The cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood, and the only cure for the condition begins with delivery. Approximately five to eight percent of pregnancies are affected by preeclampsia, which, in the United States, translates to approximately 300,000 pregnancies. It is a leading cause of preterm birth, and is responsible for approximately 76,000 maternal deaths and half a million infant deaths worldwide annually. There are several types of preeclampsia, including HELLP syndrome, a particularly dangerous variant.
About the Preeclampsia Foundation: The Preeclampsia Foundation is the only national nonprofit patient advocacy organization for the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Through their national fundraising events the Promise Walk for Preeclampsia™, the Preeclampsia Foundation works to achieve its mission to provide patient support and education, raise public awareness, catalyze research and improve health care practices, envisioning a world where preeclampsia and related hypertensive disorders of pregnancy no longer threaten the lives of mothers and babies. For more information, visit www.preeclampsia.org.