Advocate Spotlight: Mandi Schill

Mandi Schill’s pregnancy was healthy and uneventful, until she gave birth to her son and was diagnosed with preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy. After receiving treatment, Mandi returned home to care for her newborn son and manage her blood pressure.

hero_image_alt_text===A photo of a man, woman and toddler sitting together outside.
thumbnail_alt_text===A photo of a man, woman and toddler sitting together outside.

One day, Mandi was preparing a bottle for her son when she suddenly felt as if she was going to faint. The feeling subsided but later that afternoon it returned and continued to magnify. She also became nauseous. Mandi’s sister Gina, who happens to be a nurse, called to check in with her and noticed something was wrong. She told Mandi to get to the Emergency Room (ER) immediately. Once in the ER, Mandi underwent testing that revealed she had suffered a stroke.

“I never expected the first night I spent away from my baby he would only be three weeks old, and that it was because I was in the hospital recovering from a stroke,” says Schill. For the next year, Mandi had 20 different visits to her obstetrician, neurologist and family physician to monitor her risks for another stroke, as well as other postpartum complications.

Today, she follows a healthy diet, exercises regularly and continues to monitor her blood pressure. Other mothers aren’t as lucky as Mandi. Pregnancy-related deaths have been on the rise in Utah for the last decade. After being involved with various parts of the American Heart Association she recently decided to lend her voice to the issue of extending postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to a full year. Mandi joined other advocates at the Capitol in February to lobby legislators on legislation to increase coverage. She shared her story with her fellow volunteers, really putting a face to the issue and helping others to understand that anything can happen in the year after you give birth even if you have an easy pregnancy.

We are thrilled to share that the efforts of Mandi and other advocates on postpartum Medicaid legislation were successful! In the final days of the Utah 2023 legislative session the bill to extend coverage to a full year passed and it has already been signed by the Governor.

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