Tax Appeal

River made her dramatic entrance at Mercy Hospital for Women in 2017. The birth was urgently induced after the potentially life-threatening pregnancy complication of preeclampsia caused her mother Carly’s blood pressure to spike and her liver to shut down.
Preeclampsia claims the lives of 70,000 mothers and 500,000 babies worldwide every year. Your donation now to Mercy Health Foundation would help us raise $250,000 for Mercy Perinatal research seeking the world’s first treatment.

Born prematurely, little River had health problems including respiratory issues. She spent her first two weeks in the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

“We thought she was just sighing, but she was struggling with her breathing,” remembers Carly. “All of a sudden the doctors had to sweep her away.”

Carly’s high blood pressure was also a serious cause for concern and she needed emergency treatment after the birth.

Looking back on that distressing time, Luke and Carly are incredibly grateful for the specialist care mum and daughter received that saw them both return to health.

They know how lucky they are, because many mothers and babies do not survive severe preeclampsia. Your gift today towards research like Dr Cathy Cluver’s could save mothers and babies in Victoria and around the world.

Dr Cluver is a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Cape Town.

She has been working closely with Mercy Perinatal to test possible medicines for preeclampsia in a series of randomised clinical trials.

“A few cases stay with you — they have made me want to find a treatment,” says Dr Cluver.

“One was a 38-year-old mother who had preeclampsia and lost her baby, then we found she had ruptured her liver. After seven days in ICU and multiple surgeries she passed away. She left behind her husband and an eight-year-old son.”

“We are hoping to stop mothers and babies from dying, and keep mothers with preeclampsia safely pregnant for longer to prevent the problems of a premature delivery.”

Please donate today to Mercy Health Foundation to continue urgent preeclampsia research – and change the future of mums and babies just like Carly and River, who desperately need new treatments right now.


Last reviewed May 14, 2019.