Local family inspires new healthcare law in Missouri aimed at detecting heart defects in newborns

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - The misdiagnosis of a little girl from Lee's Summit has inspired a new healthcare law that officials say will help save new born babies' lives.

The law known as "Chloe's Law" goes into effect Jan. 1 and will require all hospitals in Missouri to administer a pulse oximetry screen on every new born. The screen measures the oxygen levels in the blood and detects critical congenital heart defects.

The law is named after Chloe Manz, who was born five years ago with four critical congenital heart defects.

The hospital she was at did not detect them.

Through maternal instinct, Chloe's mother Kelly Manz said she felt like something wasn't right. She insisted nurses take a closer look and figure out what was wrong. Nine hours later, the heart defects were detected.

"I truly believe had I not said anything, we would have been sent home," Kelly said. "That's what many critical congenital heart defects are. They have silent heart defects with no symptoms, and so it just hit me right then and there that every baby needs to have this test before they go home from the hospital."

For four years, Kelly dedicated her time to get a law on the books, and in July Gov. Jay Nixon signed "Chloe's Law."

"I'm grateful for (Chloe)," Kelly said. "She's just brought this passion, this drive in me, this whole new life. I'm grateful that we have her with us. I'm grateful that I was able to do this bill, to get this law passed, so other families can have their babies, and they can feel safe."

Despite the late diagnosis, Chloe just turned 5, and Kelly said she had a great Christmas and loves gymnastics.

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