‘Lian’s Law’ hopes to raise preeclampsia awareness

GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation enacting Lian’s Law on Friday to help increase maternal health education for pregnant women. It’s named after a Greece woman who passed away from complications months after birth.

News10NBC sat down with Lian’s husband, Brian Gravelle, who shares why it’s so important for women to be prepared and have this education.

“It’s a really good way to change the narrative back to women’s maternal health care,” Gravelle said.

Gravelle lost his wife six months after she gave birth to their twin boys, Enzo and Charles. She suffered from signs of preeclampsia.

“Fluid infiltrating the lungs and she was in the ICU for a period of time, and some of that impacted her heart in a negative way, and six months later that kind of showed up and she had a spontaneous cardiac arrest in the middle of the night and passed away,” Gravelle said.

Preeclampsia is caused by increased blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Cuomo signed Lian’s Law as new legislation to increase public awareness of it.

“The state health department to provide funds, to provide education, training, and awareness to patients and providers on preeclampsia specifically,” Gravelle said.

He said the signs didn’t really hit Lian until right before she was admitted into the ICU. They had plans of building a non-profit together to educate low-income families and dads about pregnancy complications.

“We had our anniversary dinner the night before she passed," Gravelle said. "We talked about our future together, we talked about our kids, talked about what we wanted to do. We agreed we didn’t want to have more kids because we didn’t want to go up to that kind of risk again. We talked about building a foundation."

He said the new law is the first step into bringing awareness to women’s maternal health care and says the work doesn’t stop here.

“When I looked around for resources as a newly widowed father of twin 6-month-olds, you know, resources were bare,” Gravelle said. "They weren’t well advertised through the county, and I think that’s really important, and that’s kind of my next task.”