Sam’s Law in action

After hearing presentation, staff at capital saves woman’s life

Sam’s Law in action

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Sam’s Law may be a familiar title to some in East Texas, but the bill proposing seizure response training for public school employees in Texas is now known throughout the state’s capital.

While presenting House Bill 684 (Sam’s Law) to representatives in the capital, Shari Dudo spoke with Representative Rick Miller and his staff. That, was on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Miller’s legislative analyst, Pedro Solis, put what he learned from Dudo to good use.

“He called me and you could hear the emotion in his voice,” said Dudo. “He said ‘there was a pregnant lady that just had a seizure in the cafeteria and everybody wanted to put something in her mouth and I remember you told me never to put something in their mouth’.”

Solis held the woman’s head and turned her on her side until emergency crews arrived.

“I was just there to facilitate as much as I could do,” said Solis. “Which is what this bill is all about.”

Sam’s Law is simple:

· Any school personnel that has contact with children watch a less than 30 minute video on seizure recognition and seizure first aid, once every year.

· School nurses watch a two hour and 15 minute video, once in their career.

· Seizure action plans are filled out by the parents of the child having seizures and a neurologist.

· All materials and training will be free of charge, courtesy of the Epilepsy Foundation of Texas.

According to the CDC’s epilepsy data and statistics, 49,050 children in Texas have active epilepsy. This number represents children aged 0-17 with diagnosed epilepsy. It does not include anyone older or anyone who has seizures due to unknown causes.

“Because you are informed, you are more willing to help and that is what we need,” said Clardy, district 11 representative and author of the bill. “For everybody to be informed and know how to help in a situation they’re not typically ready for.”

Barbara Watkins has been spending the past two years watching the way her daughter’s legacy has helped people.

“Her organs and tissue are all over the country,” said Watkins. “Her kidney went to a man who had already been read his last rights and now he’s doing great.”

Watkins said this incident at the capital is just another example of why she doesn’t believe in coincidences.

“I have learned since Sam died, there are no coincidences. I think things happen as they’re meant to be,” said Watkins. “No better proof than this happening at the place where she’s [Dudo] working tirelessly to get this law passed. It’s beautiful. It’s a testament to Sam’s Law and the need for it in this state.”

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