Diaries Magazine

Honor Corbin and Save a Life: Guest Post from Ruth Caruthers

By Babyjandbean

We are on vacation this week with very limited Internet access but not to worry… I have something very special planned. My friend Ruth Caruthers has kindly agreed to guest post today.
Since getting Bean’s Williams syndrome diagnosis, I have met many wonderful WS parents with compelling stories and compassionate hearts. I have been touched by so many of their stories but none more than Ruth and her sweet little Corbin. Corbin’s life was short but he inspired so many and Ruth is now an amazing advocate for children with congenital heart defects.
Please read this very important post from Ruth and share it with everyone you know. It may save your child’s life - or a child you know and love. Then, please go read Ruth’s story at www.thecorbinstory.blogspot.com and www.life-afterloss.blogspot.com. 
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Pulse Ox.
Many people have had this done but don’t know what it means.To me it means saving a life. Pulse Oximetry is a simple, non-invasive procedure thatmeasures the percentage of oxygen in the blood by placing a band around thefoot or hand with a red sensor. The sensor beams light through the blood andcan measure the amount of oxygen. If you have been admitted to the hospital forany reason, they have done this test on you. Remember the plastic clip they puton the end of your finger? That’s pulse ox! What you may not know is thatpulse ox can be used to detect heart defects in newborns. Congenital heartdefects are the most common defect in newborns and affect about 1 in 100babies. (https://www.facebook.com/#!/1in100 ) Although they are so common, onlythree states are required to test for heart defects at birth, Indiana being themost recent thanks to efforts by Kristine McCormick (www.pulseoxadvocacy.com )Tosee if you state is one of them, visit (http://www.cchdscreeningmap.com/ )
Heart defects range from a mild murmur to seriousdeformities and complications that are life threatening. Pulse ox can detectmost heart defects because blood flow and oxygen percentage are affected. Ifthe oxygen levels in a baby are less than 95%, the baby will be tested againand checked for heart defects. Hospitals run a wide variety of tests onnewborns ( http://genes-r-us.uthscsa.edu/nbsdisorders.pdf)but still do not test for the most common defect out there. It is my goal, andothers, to change that.My personal reason for doing thisis my son Corbin. He was born with Williams Syndrome (http://www.williams-syndrome.org/what-is-williams-syndrome) which caused serious heart defects. He was five days old when we found out hehad in interrupted aortic arch and that he needed to be put on medication tokeep his aorta open or he would die. For the next 81 days, he would be in thehospital fighting for his life. He underwent three heart surgeries, the firstat 9 days old, to try and fix his heart. He touched a lot of people during hisstay, but in the end, God took him home. He is no longer in pain and his heartis healed but I miss him every day.(http://www.thecorbinstory.blogspot.com)I decided, not long after he passed, that if Iwas chosen to be the mother of an angel baby, that Corbin would not die invain. I decided from that moment on I would try to make in difference inCorbin’s memory. It was then I started advocating for pulse ox screening inhospitals. My son was not screened at birth and he is not the only one. Manychildren go home untested and for some, it is too late. (http://www.corasstory.org/ ) I amfighting for every child out there, that they may have the chance to live. Nomother should have to bury her child.If you want to help, here (http://pulseoxadvocacy.com/efforts-by-state/) is a link listing the advocates for Pulse Ox by state, through Facebook. Feelfree to contact them and ask if you can join the cause (we are also on [email protected]) Another way you can help is simply by spreading the word! Also ifyou are pregnant, or a new mother to a little one, ask your doctor orpediatrician to run a pulse ox test on your baby. It’s cheap, painless, andtakes seconds. Most importantly, it saves lives. 

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