In Georgia, it is very possible to be removed from transplant lists simply for having a disability. Well, David and Erin’s Nobles are fighting to change that. Their own daughter Gracie Nobles, has a disability, down syndrome. This is a born disability and is not something that either parent or the medical community could have done to prevent it. Additionally, before Gracie was born to doctor’s identified a hole in her heart called an AV Canal defect.
As Gracie grew in the NICU, her parents made arrangements for surgery to repair the hole in her heart. They watched as Gracie began deteriorating from congested heart failure until the surgery saved their daughter’s life. But, if surgery had not been an option, the family would have had to move out of the state.
Now Gracie’s parents speak in nursing classes at hospitals and are helping the medical community understand the effect of preventing disabled people access transplants. They’re moving forward with Gracie’s Law in an effort to break that barrier. Now there is some hesitation when it comes to the medical community. Many physicians are hesitant to go through the procedure with a disabled person for any number of reasons, including genuine health and mortality concerns.
As for the surgery that saved Gracie, her heart is developing along with her just fine. Doctors are confident that her heart transplant won’t hold her back in her milestones, development, or later in life. Currently, Gracie’s Law is standing as House Bill 842, waiting for action. Georgia’s state representative Rick Williams was first approached by the family in August of 2019 with the bill. He moved it into the House of Representatives for consideration, and hopefully, there will be a desireable outcome on the bill soon.
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