Ashley Jackson | What The HELLP

Thank you for visiting my 2017 Promise Walk for Preeclampsia fundraising page.

I am grateful for your donations and for your help in spreading the word about preeclampsia and HELLP. My goal is to help our community raise funds and awareness and save the lives of moms and babies! 

I was diagnosed severe case of HELLP on my 31st birthday at 34 weeks  and shortly after that I had an emergency c-section to have my miracle baby boy Gavin at 1:27am on November 13th. 

WHAT THE HECK IS HELLP SYNDROME?

According to preeclampsia.org HELLP stands for hemolysis, (which is the breaking down of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes (indicating liver failure) and low platelet count (platelets help your blood clot).

To most of us that makes absolutely no sense, and diagnosing HELLP can be frustrating because the symptoms are often mistaken for other factors including, but not limited to gastritis, flu, and gall bladder disease. Basically, the majority of doctors will tell you that HELLP Syndrome is a very severe case of preeclampsia, but others will tell you that HELLP Syndrome is completely separate from preeclampsia.

In a nutshell HELLP affects your blood cells and liver, and can lead to any or all of the following:

  • blood clots
  • kidney failure
  • liver rupture
  • lung failure (in mother and baby)
  • fluid in the lungs
  • renal failure
  • excessive bleeding
  • placental abruption (when the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby is born)
  • stroke
  • death (source here)


There are three classes of HELLP Syndrome; mild, moderate, and severe based on platelet levels, but these levels are not set standard throughout the United States.

As of now there is no way to prevent HELLP Syndrome, which is why it is especially important to regconize the symptopms of HELLP.

Preeclampsia.org suggests these four things to help you help yourself in regards to HELLP Syndrome:

  • Get yourself in the best physical shape before getting pregnant
  • Have regular prenatal visits
  • Inform your care providers about any previous high-risk pregnancies or family history of HELLP syndrome, preeclampsia, etc.
  • Understand the warning signs and do not delay reporting them to your healthcare provider, including trusting yourself when "something just doesn't feel right."

"The physical symptoms of HELLP Syndrome may seem at first like preeclampsia. Symptoms reported by the pregnant woman developing HELLP syndrome may include one or all of the following:

  • headache
  • nausea/vomiting/indigestion with pain after eating. This is not the same as morning sickness (nausea and vomiting later in pregnancy isnot normal).
  • epigastric (abdominal) or substernal (chest) tenderness and right upper quadrant pain (from liver distention)
  • shoulder pain or pain when breathing deeply
  • bleeding
  • visual disturbances
  • swelling, especially in hands, feet, and face.

Please make a donation to support our efforts to fund education and research into this life-threatening disorder of pregnancy. I can say am a survivor but I want other women to be survivors as well. 



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Thank you donors
Stefanie Jackson
Happy Birthday Sis! Can't wait to see what all you can do to help others.

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