Professor Chris Redman is a retired physician, the first in the world to be appointed to a full time academic appointment in the new specialty of obstetric medicine, at Oxford University in the UK. Early in his research career he encountered women with the worst forms of pre-eclampsia, which opened his eyes to the suffering it caused to them and their families, and how poorly it was managed by health professionals. The experience inspired him to devote his career to ‘understanding pre-eclampsia’. He and Isabel Walker have worked together for 30 years to communicate progress and knowledge to those who need to know more about this uniquely difficult complication of pregnancy.
Joyce Cowan is a midwife and senior lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate midwifery education, based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her special interest in pre-eclampsia led her in 1994 to co-found the New Zealand Action on Pre-eclampsia patient group (NZ APEC – an offshoot of the UK-based parent organisation). As Director of NZ APEC she has helped to raise awareness of pre-eclampsia by organising study days for midwives and doctors and publishing educational materials for women and families. As a midwife she has worked in a variety of settings, from home to specialist hospital units. As an academic, she has published a Master’s thesis on women’s experience of early-onset pre-eclampsia, while her current doctoral study focuses on detection of fetal growth restriction.
Isabel Walker is a former health journalist, who lost her first baby as a result of pre-eclampsia in 1987 and went on to co-found the UK patient organisation Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC) with Professor Chris Redman. She and Professor Redman also co-wrote the award-winning book Pre-eclampsia: The Facts, published by Oxford University Press in 1992 (now out of print). Isabel led APEC as Director until 2000, winning the Options Magazine ‘Woman of Commitment’ award for her work in 1995. A qualified personal performance coach, she currently works with private and not-for-profit sector organisations in the UK and worldwide as a consultant and trainer, specialising in communication skills.