Expecting moms can now have peace after their babies are born thanks to Kelly Manz, who has been advocating to pass Chloe’s Law for the last two years. Manz had a smooth delivery, but noticed something was not quite right with her new baby. As many nurses brushed it off as “new mom jitters” Manz’s motherly instincts kicked in full gear when she demanded for them to check her daughter out. Doctors ran a Pulse Oximetry test, a test that is administered within the first 24 hours after birth to check the oxygen saturation levels of the blood. If there are abnormal readings, it could suggest a Congential Heart Defect and further testing is done. This was the case with Chloe.
Chloe was tested nine hours after birth and found four rare defects in her heart which required her to have her first open heart surgery at the age of four months. If Manz wasn’t alerted with how she was responding, things could have turned bad.
While women can have their baby’s heart screened during their 20-week ultrasound, they are often not screened appropriately and why the Pulse Ox test is crucial for the baby’s survival. Under the guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association to run the Pulse Ox test, only 30 states have made this mandatory.
Little Chloe who is now 4 years old has inspired her mom to start her own site called CHD Babies that informs, supports and gives back to families whose babies are born with CHD. Kelly Manz also started the first CHD Run For Little Hearts Virtual Run with 100% of the profits to go back into the community. Registration is now open to do the Run For Little Hearts on May 4th from anywhere in the United States.
When you ask Manz how she feels about 2013 in one word: “Grateful” she says with tears in her eyes.
Want to learn more about CHD? Read:
What you need to know about Congential Heart Defects
The top five questions to ask during your 20-week ultrasound to detect Congenital Heart Defects