Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Faces of CHD: Corbin's Story

It is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. Each day this week I am sharing a different story featuring an amazing heart warrior. I can't thank my next guest blogger more for sharing her story with us. Ruth has gone through more than any parent ever should. Despite what she has gone through, she is constantly fighting for our heart kids and has dedicated her life to spreading awareness and saving babies. Ruth, I am honored to call you a friend. 

Day2: The Story of Corbin Walker Caruthers

When I first got pregnant, I had never heard about heart defects and how they affected 1 in 100 babies. I didn’t know they are the most common defect in newborns. I also didn’t know there was a way to help detect heart defects, called pulse ox. Now I know. I know a lot about heart defects and I want to share what I know.

February 20th, 2011 I gave birth via C-section to a tiny, wrinkled, little boy named Corbin. He looked like a little old man but I loved him instantly. We had no clue to the hardships he would endure for the next three months as he fought for his life.  Corbin had an interrupted aortic arch, ASD’s and VSD’s (which are  holes in the heart), double outlet right ventricle (problems with the structure of the heart), and aortic and pulmonary stenosis (narrow veins). All of this was caused by Williams Syndrome. a genetic disorder presented at birth where one tiny little section of one gene is deleted. It messes with the elastin which is why many Williams Syndrome kids have heart problems. Corbin’s defects were pretty significant, and the doctors had a hard time deciding what kind of procedure would be best.

Corbin underwent three heart surgeries to try and fix his heart. He was an amazing fighter and I am so proud of him. He touched a lot of people while he was in the hospital and there were many tears the day he passed away. His room wasn’t just full of doctors and nurses, but of people that cared for and loved my little boy.
It has  been eight months since he was taken to Heaven, and every day I make it my mission to spread awareness of heart defects and pulse ox. I want to reach as many people as I can so that every mother will know what it means if her babies hands and feet turn blue. Or if their child is breathing heavily and can’t nurse and breath at the same time. I just want to plant that little seed of knowledge so that when someone needs it, they will remember “pulse ox” and they can ask for help.

Thousands of babies are born each day. Some of them will have Down syndrome, some will have autism, and some will have heart defects. It is possible. It does happen. And it is common. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself, that other people aren't listening. Then I receive a message from a mother asking about pulse ox. They tell me they are pregnant and they heard my story and want to know more about pulse ox. In those moments, Corbin is with me. He is helping to save other lives and I am so proud that he is making a difference. So no matter how many people read this, I hope it will reach that one person who needs it the most. They will read that pulse ox is a cheap, non-invasive test that can save their babies life and they will do something about it. Whether they simply repost and share or they tell their friend or sister that is expecting. Some way the word will be passed and lives will be saved!

There is currently a bill working its way through WV legislation. HB4327 was recently passed through the Health and Human Resources Committee at the House of Delegates and will be going to the Judiciary committee next. We hope to have this bill passed this year and name it in honor of Corbin. Pulse Ox testing is cheap, no-invasive an it can save lives.

Please help support HB 4327

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Pulse Ox Advocacy Links:

To learn more about Corbin's Journey visit:


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