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Decatur Mayor John Schultz has proclaimed Friday, November 30, as Cora Mae McCormick Day.
Cora McCormick was a Decatur resident, born November 30, 2009 to Ben and Kristine (Brite) McCormick. She died unexpectedly five days later when she suddenly stopped breathing in her mother’s arms. It was later determined Cora died from an undetected congenital heart defect.
Cora’s parents shortly afterward learned of a screening that might have saved the infant's life: pulse oximetry screening. The screening is inexpensive, equipment is already in every newborn nursery and is non-invasive. It involves placing a small sensor, a pulse oximeter, on the infant’s hand and foot and measuring the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood.
“My husband and I were understandably devastated by Cora’s sudden death,” Kristine McCormick said. “We take solace knowing that she’s saving other babies.”
After months of research, letter writing and even trips to Washington D.C., a bill to make pulse oximetry screening mandatory in Indiana was introduced directly because of Cora’s short life and death. The state law, approved in April 2010, has become known as Cora’s Law. The legislation was the first of it’s kind in the nation.
Since the passing of Indiana’s law, nine other states have followed and the federal government issued a recommendation that every baby be given the screening.
The legislation went into effect in January, 2010, and at least one baby has already been saved by the screening, according to Kristine McCormick.
She has now been invited to tell Cora’s story around the world, and gets emails and phone calls from doctors and advocates worldwide who want to bring pulse oximetry screening to their area.
The McCormicks asked the mayor to make the proclamation, explaining that although they’ve since moved to Indianapolis, they’re proud Cora was a Decatur resident.
“The people of Decatur were incredibly kind and have been so supportive of all of the work in Cora’s name. It’s so nice to know that our work is supported here,” Kristine McCormick said.
Schultz issued a proclamation which recognizes Cora’s legacy and urges citizens to learn more about pulse oximetry and congenital heart defects.
According to McCormick, congenital heart defects are the most common of all birth defects and the number one birth defect-related killer. CHD kills more infants than SIDS and any other cause besides prematurity.
For more information about Cora, congenital heart defects and pulse oximetry screening, visit the McCormick’s' website, www/corasstory.com