Proposed bill aims to fight against organ transplant discrimination

From his smile, spirit and energy, you’d never know 3-year-old Everett Gay has been through as much as he has.

Diagnosed with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect shortly after birth, he’s already undergone five surgeries in his young life.

“The thought that solely due to his diagnosis of Down syndrome, if he were to need a transplant he would get jumped in line by someone who didn’t, for no other reason than that, is just heartbreaking,” the 3-year-old’s father, Rhys Gay, said.

Advocating on his son’s behalf, Gay reached out to state Sen. Paul Rosino for help. Rosino was eager to author Senate Bill 378, which is also known as Everett’s Law.

“The biggest thing about this whole piece of legislation is families that have someone that may have a disability, whether it’s a physical or intellectual, they can’t be denied an organ transplant solely based on that disability. And currently in Oklahoma, they’re not protected; and to me, that’s shameful,” Rosino said.

Rosino told KOCO 5 that he’s glad to be a champion for the cause and to lead the call for change.

“People with disabilities, they’re no less of a family member. They’re no less of a person in our society,” Rosino said. “And sometimes, we need strong voices to stand up for them because these people need voices.”

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