Policy Makes An Impact

Earlier this month, on Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day, Massachusetts’ You’re the Cure advocate Zoe’s story was shared with state lawmakers. To show how policy can truly impact the community, a valentine sharing her story was handed out, office to office.Valentine to Massachusetts lawmakers telling Zoe's pulse oximetry story. It read;

Karen had a great pregnancy and gave birth to an 8-pound, 8-ounce baby girl named Zoe in June 2016. Soon after, Karen and her husband Keith learned that their baby girl had a heart defect, detected by pulse ox, a newborn screening that was required in all Massachusetts hospitals starting in 2015. Instead of going home with her parents, Zoe was transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital. A few weeks later, she underwent heart surgery. She is now a healthy, happy, and active almost 3-year-old!

None of Karen’s ultrasounds showed any heart issues. Without pulse ox, she could have taken Zoe home without knowing she had a congenital heart defect. Thanks to the Pulse Ox Law, Zoe’s condition was detected in time, and she received life-saving treatment. We’re so happy that Zoe’s story has a happy ending. We hope that on this Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day you remember that the work you do and the legislation you work to pass can truly save lives!

It was an incredible reminder of how important making pulse oximetry screening mandatory for all newborns across Massachusetts was. It will continue to protect our youngest babies, just like Zoe, through early detection of previously undiagnosed congenital heart disease.

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