Ruth Caruthers West Virginia
It all started with a blog.
My son Corbin was in the hospital for heart surgery; he was only 9 days old for his first procedure. I had hours and hours to surf the internet, scouring sites for more information on his heart defects, and finding more and more parents just like me. Parents who had gone through the same journey and had words of wisdom and encouragement to share.
Some stories did not have happy endings. I came across one when I searched “pulse oximetry” that would change my life. It was a story of a mom whose daughter had died from undetected heart defects and had went on to pass a bill in her state that required a newborn pulse oximetry screening to help detect heart defects. I read her words, page after page, with tears running down my face. After I had digested all the information I could from her page, I looked up and said to myself “I can do that.”
Our dear little Peanut, Corbin would not survive his third heart surgery. His broken heart stopped on May 17th, 2011, just three months after he graced this world. It was just 8 months later when I, along with two other “heart moms,” with the help of the American Heart Association, introduced West Virginia’s first pulse ox bill. With the grace of God and thousands of supporters, the bill passed a very quick three months later! Heart defect screening is mandatory in WV as of January 1st, 2013.
You could say that I am helping to change the world, but I say that my son is. My son is saving lives every day through this bill. His story doesn’t end there! Every single day, I work towards spreading his legacy and educating other parents on the importance of pulse ox and how it can save your child’s life. Even though my son did not survive, he has impacted our world in a way that cannot be undone or forgotten. His legacy will continue on through each baby that is born every day in this state that is screened with pulse ox. Corbin’s Bill IS my son and he is changing the world.