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Bo’s Bill brings hope for at-risk infants

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:43 PM EDT
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LAKEVILLE, Ind. (WNDU) - Bo Newton’s family and Indiana Representative Jackie Walorski have been working together to create ‘Bo’s Bill,’ also known as the Baby Observation Act, to ensure that families have access to life saving devices.

“SIDS is one of the most, number one killer of babies..” said Janessa Newton, Bo’s mom.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a silent and sudden medical disorder than affects infants who seem perfectly healthy.

It is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age.

Respiratory issues are a huge contributor, and for Robert Marvin Newton and his parents, they caused many sleepless nights and visits to the hospital.

“It had gotten a lot worse a lot faster than they expected. He went back and stayed for ten more days, was on high flow oxygen, feeding tubes, they were almost gonna sedate him and intubate him, and uhm that morning when we went back on the ambulance I told him I’m getting the sock and he goes ‘order it I don’t care how much it cost. Order it,’” said Janessa Newton.

The Owlet Sock is a cardiorespiratory monitor that alerts parents about breathing issues before it’s too late. After getting the Owlet Sock and seeing the difference it made in their own life, the Newton’s reached out to representative in Congress in the Indiana 2nd District, Jackie Walorski.

To share their story and ask what can be done for other parents in similar situations.

And with this, Bo’s Bill was born.

“This is just the first step, in a long process. But it moves forward with advancing this technology that protects these small infants and saves their lives,” said Jackie Walorski, U.S Representative for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District.

The Bill will require the Patient Center Outcome Research Institute to conduct research on cardiorespiratory monitors for infants.

“We’re hoping, having them do a 15 month research period will bring more in to light, and more options available. That people will start developing the technology more than it already has been, and it will just broaden the horizon of all of it,” said Janessa Newton,

“Technology’s always changing. It’s gonna get better and better, they’re gonna see new things and I wish it could save all the babies from the past, but I hope it will save them in the future.”

With this bill dropping today, the hope is that after the 15-month study, cardiorespiratory monitors will become fully covered by insurance, so that parents of infants do not have to worry about the cost.

We will update you on the study and it’s results when they are available, as well as the impact Bo’s Bill makes.

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