HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Currently, only in Texas are parents informed that an EKG can save their child’s life. Advocates rallied Monday on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg to bring a similar law to Pennsylvania.
Family members and advocates called on lawmakers to pass Peyton’s Law, named after 19-year-old college sophomore Peyton Walker, who died from sudden cardiac arrest in November 2013.
“It’s been almost six years and it still feels like 20 minutes since we got that call that no parent wants to get,” said Julie Walker, Peyton’s mother and executive director of the Peyton Walker Foundation.
The bill does not require heart screenings but would include information on PIAA sports physical forms about requesting an EKG as part of the physical.
“We had a number of families standing on the Capitol steps today, they had no information, they did not know to get their kids heart screened and checked, and had they known, some of those kids might be with us today,” Julie Walker said.
One of those families traveled from Texas to be in Harrisburg. Their son Cody passed away in 2012 of cardiac arrest. He was getting ready to play college football and was just three weeks shy of his high school graduation.
Cody’s parents lobbied Texas lawmakers to enact a bill similar to Peyton’s Law, which was recently signed. On their son’s birthday Monday, they hoped to make Pennsylvania the second state to bring awareness to heart screenings.
“This is the second state to do it and if I’m invited, I would like to be wherever it goes,” said Scott Stephens, president of Cody Stephens Foundation. “I look at it a little bit as my son’s legacy, but the main thing is, I know it’s going to save lives and change a lot of families’ futures.”
Peyton’s Law will head to the Senate floor for a vote after passing a vote in the Education Committee.