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April Turner, Louisiana

April was born with three heart defects - ASD, VSD and PDA - and had open heart surgery at age six. Several years later, she had another heart surgery with numerous heart caths along the way. Some doctors said she wouldn’t graduate high school. But she didn't let that expectation stop her! April graduated from college in Business of Music and attended school to be a Surgical Tech. 


During the 2013 Louisiana regular legislative session, April actively supported legislation to require pulse oximetry, or pulse ox, as part of Louisiana’s newborn screening panel to detect congenital heart defects. Pulse ox consists of sensors placed on a baby's hand and foot to check blood oxygen levels. If their levels are too low, additional tests may be conducted that aid in detecting critical or possibly life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise go undetected.

You can be a You're the Cure advocate, too. Sign up today at and stay updated with the latest happenings in Louisiana on Facebook at American Heart Association-Louisiana or on Twitter @YoureTheCureLA.

Story was provided by April Turner and originally published in February 2013. Last updated March 2018.

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