Today history was made, as House Bill 76 (Cody’s Law) was passed through the Texas Senate with a Vote of 20-11. The Bill is on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. Each and every student, along with their parent/guardian, in the state of Texas who participate in UIL sanctioned events will be informed about ECG heart screenings and have the opportunity to opt in. This law will educate, save countless lives, and puts the issue of heart health in the students/parent’s hands, which has been our goal since day 1.
Life is fragile, which makes it special and something to be cherished. As I sit back and reflect on this journey, it’s hard to put into words how I feel.
I’ve had a front row seat, from losing Cody in May of 2012, to an idea that we can do better in regards to preventing sudden cardiac death, to a foundation that now has a full-time staff, over a million dollars raised, 100,000+ hearts screened, 100+ heart surgeries, and spared families from enduring unspeakable heartache.
I’ve spent countless hours driving my dad all across Texas while he battled it out on the phone in the seat next to me against doctors, lawyers, lobbyist, etc.
I’ve watched my mom travel to school after school for screenings; she’s taught 1,000s of people CPR, and I’ve watch her pour her heart and soul into this cause.
I’ve seen overwhelming support in every avenue from so many all over the state and this wouldn’t have been possible without it. Y’all are all a part of this win. Getting a law passed is hard, it rarely happens on the first, second, or even third try. It takes a tremendous amount of hard work, dedication, and persistence, all in the face of no guarantee of vindication.
I’ve heard my dad say countless times, “this will be law, but the wrong kid has to die first. I just hope he/she is already gone.” Cody, you were the wrong kid, and as much as that hurts and I miss you, I take joy in knowing your legacy will save countless lives. So proud to be your brother and so proud of my parents.
Today Texas took your last words to heart and went Big !!!
-Clay Stephens, Cody's big brother