Monday, January 30, 2012

Pulse Ox in the news Again!!

Published Tuesday, January 17, 2012 in Local
Olivia Harvey of Coweta enjoys time with a horse friend. Harvey was born with three congenital heart defects, and her mother, Melissa, is now working to promote proposed state legislation for a study on pulse ox screenings for all Georgia newborns.
Olivia Harvey of Coweta enjoys time with a horse friend. Harvey was born with three congenital heart defects, and her mother, Melissa, is now working to promote proposed state legislation for a study on pulse ox screenings for all Georgia newborns.

Georgia lawmakers to take close look at pulse ox screenings for newborns

The Newnan Times-Herald
This legislative session, Georgia lawmakers will consider a bill to launch a pilot study on pulse oximetry (pulse ox) testing for all newborns. The test is non-invasive and supporters say it can be a valuable tool in detecting heart defects, or serious infection.
Melissa Harvey of Newnan has been working for such legislation, which is being sponsored this session by State Representative Andy Welch and co-signed by Representative Matt Ramsey.
Representative Welch said the bill is "in the hopper" and will be assigned a number this week. "We're very excited about it," he said.
Harvey's own experiences with her daughter, Olivia, spurred her interest in becoming an advocate for others. Olivia was born with three congenital heart defects -- coarctation of the aorta, pulmonary stenosis and mitral stenosis -- all conditions that will have life-long impact.
Harvey and another metro-Atlanta mom, Jessica Hatcher of Newton, first contacted legislators last year about the pulse ox issue. The states of Maryland and New Jersey already require pulse ox screenings for newborns and several states have pilot studies in place.
According to Welch, hearings on the proposed study for Georgia will begin in February. The study, if approved by lawmakers, would be needed to determine how a pulse ox requirement would affect PeachCare, including cost per infant. "That will help guide us," said Welch about the proposed study.
In 2010, the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary's Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children recommended screening of newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) using pulse ox. The screening, conducted by placing a meter on an infant's toe, is used to measure the degree of oxygen saturation in the red blood cells.
"It should be close to 100 percent," said Dr. Matt Oster, pediatric cardiologist at Children's Health Care of Atlanta. According to Oster, there are two reasons for a low reading. The first is a lung infection or problem, and the second is a heart defect preventing blood from reaching the lungs for oxygenation.
Many children born with life-threatening heart defects exhibit no symptoms and appear healthy at first. According to the Children's Heart Foundation, approximately 4,000 babies do not live to see their first birthdays due to congenital heart defects annually. Nearly twice the number of children die from congenital heart defects in the United States each year as from all forms of childhood cancers combined.
In Georgia, it is required by law for newborns to undergo a blood test screening for a number of genetic and metabolic disorders. Hearing tests are also conducted routinely for most babies born in Georgia. For Olivia Harvey, early detection was key in her longterm health, and that's why her mother is supporting the pulse oximetry campaign.
Harvey says more information on the pulse ox campaign is available at including how to talk to your legislator about the issue. She says another good online resource for parents of children with heart defects, or anyone interested in learning more, is . "It has ways you can get involved," she said.

"Cooperman" turns 5!

So, I am little late on updating here. But a few weekends ago Cooper turned the big 5! He had a blast at Monkey Joes with his cousins and family! Here are a few pics from then:

Right now you LOVE star wars and playing light sabers! You also love to play thomas the train as well. You are such a trickster and you love to hide and think that it is the funniest thing in the world to "neek" up on all of us! You have the best laugh and your smile is the biggest smile in the world. You love your family and you hate to see your big sister go through so many medical things. You talk about Jesus all the time and yell outside to Him that you love Him. This makes me smile that you are not afraid to tell the world that you love Jesus. I cannot wait to see what God has in store for you this year.

Born January 9, 2007
Fav Food: Chick-fil-a
Weight: 35lbs
Loves to play Thomas the Train & Star Wars
Likes to watch Austin & Alli & AFV
Fav color: Blue
Wants to be a Fire Fighter when he grows up.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Hero

What is a Hero? A hero can be many different things depending on who you ask. To some their parents may be their heros, to others it may be superman or a football star. Often times you see children pretend to be hero’s on the playground. But to me, my hero is my eight year old daughter, Olivia. And she doesn’t pretend to be a hero, she is one. She was born on December 19, 2002. This would be the day that we would learn that she was born with several rare Congenital Heart Defects. The day she was born was the day that she began to fight for her life. She has gone through more in her eight years than most do in a lifetime. She was born with Coarctation of the aorta, pulmonary stenosis, mitral valve stenosis, and an enlarged heart. She endured open heart! surgery at 6 months of age to repair two of her defects where she remained in the hospital for 3 weeks and will require more in the future. Every day she takes numerous amounts of meds and has some limitations on what she can and cannot do. But she always smiles and tries her best not to cry and be brave when she gets a poke or test. She shows so much strength and bravery everyday of her life. She is the toughest little girl I know. In addition to her heart defects she also is going through testing for an enlarged liver and spleen and a possible bleeding disorder. You would never know by meeting her that she goes through all of this every day. She shows her courage, hope and strength through her laughter, tears and all of her energy despite her illness, for that she is my biggest Hero, my warrior. Each child is born and most believe with a predetermined path created by God. Not one journey is the same and I believe when you add the element of a congenital heart defect to a c! hild – you have a Heart Hero. I am reminded that when I get do! wn and f eel like giving up of what she goes through and I know that I can get through it. No matter what comes her way she endures it and moves on to the next and never complains, always smiling, a true hero. My heart hero.