GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — “I think she’d be really pleased that something has happened. I feel her encouraging me to keep going.”
Brian Gravelle, of Greece, has been fighting for months, working on ways to ensure no other family goes through what he did.
Three years ago, he lost his wife Lian to preeclampsia, a serious post-pregnancy condition that can be deadly if not treated. Symptoms include swelling all over the body, fluid build-up in the lungs and seizures.
“Feet, feet is the big thing, feet swelling is a pre-indicator that you may be at risk for preeclampsia,” said Gravelle.
With the help of local lawmakers, including Sen. Jeremy Cooney, a new law is passed in her honor. The law will fund education and awareness efforts for those in health care and beyond, so they can better understand the condition.
For Brian, he wished there was more emphasis on slowing down after Lian’s pregnancy, instead of rushing back to daily tasks. Part of his fight today is sharing a new narrative of heightened care after birth, and more attention to healing.
“We don’t care for women post-partum long enough,” he said. “Everybody focuses on the babies, there needs to be focus on the moms.”
Lian’s twins Enzo and Charles only had a few months with her.
“I’ve never seen her happier than when she got out of the ICU and was able to hold the kids for the first time,” said Gravelle.
Now he’s focusing on what lies ahead. It’s more work, and more advocating for others.
Brian says he’s feeling more motivated than ever.
“What I do know is how to get things done, I know how to be a pest, persistent, be angry on behalf of people who deserved to have their voices heard.”
As a mother and attorney, Lian was a passionate advocate for reproductive and maternal health. She worked on Sen. Cooney’s campaign team – and advocated for maternal health discussion.