The Cody Bill, or House Bill 76, that provides an opt-in opportunity for parents to have their children screened with an EKG before participating in competitive activities, passed the Texas Senate on May 20 by a vote of 20-11 after clearing the House overwhelmingly.
The bill goes back to the House for an amendment before going on to the Governor who can sign it or do nothing after 15 days and the bill become law. The bill probably comes into effect in 2020.
According to Scott Stephens, “We are going to have a better system. It has been seven years and two weeks to the day since Cody died in my easy chair for what we would later discover was unnecessary. So, my wife, Melanie and I said let’s give this thing seven years to get passed while we show them that screenings can be done all over the state without excessive spending and save some young lives. It really is a God thing.
“Right now, some 100 kids among those that have been screened throughout the State of Texas have been told they need heart surgery. Some 2,600 students have been told they need to be aware of heart conditions that could be a danger, now at least they have some knowledge of there is a condition. Right now, a Chiropractor can perform your child’s screening, in 2020 we can offer parents a EKG.
“We are the first state to offer this. I started getting calls from California, Florida and Massachusetts almost immediately to ask how we got it passed. Since the bill passed the Senate, I have heard from schools as small as Gilmer to Dallas ISD [that has 22 high schools and 32 middle schools] to ask how to set up for first year. The Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation has been doing first year screenings for free but at most it is to cost parents that opt in about $10 to have their child screened. The main thing is, I want to thank Dan Huberty and Senator Carol Alvarado for their help in getting this bill passed.”
There is still need to continue first time athletes, band members, UIL competitors for screening with EKG, according to Stephens, the fundraiser for The Cody Stephens Go Big or Go Home Foundation will be in August.