(Washington, D.C.) - A Lakeville family is spearheading some possible life-saving legislation with the help of their local Congressman.
Janessa and Robert Newton learned the importance of monitoring a newborn’s heart rate and breathing when their son Bo had serious respiratory issues several years ago. They needed a device that would keep track of Bo’s vitals at home, but it wasn’t readily available, and it wasn’t cheap.
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski was helping the Newtons push for legislation just prior to her death. This week 2d District Representative Rudy Yakym picked up the cause, introducing a bill furthering the study of cardiorespiratory monitors. "The example of the Newton Family is inspiring," said Yakym. "They have helped shine a light on a pressing need in our nation: ensuring families have greater awareness of lifesaving medical technologies that can prevent infant deaths."
The Newtons are relieved that Bo's Act, which Walorski had supported, is now being carried forward, for the good of other children like their son. They said, "Knowing we have the possibility to change the lives of families with medically fragile children and infants, and lessen their burden even just a little bit, does our hearts good."
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is the leading cause of death among newborns. About 3,400 sudden infant deaths occur each year in the U.S. Yakym and the Newtons hope that further research funding will turn that statistic around.