Bill promoting SIDS research clears Senate

Eighty-five words.

Sen. Max Wise said that is the number of new words legislation he filed would add to an existing statute to promote research and prevention of sudden infant death syndrome, known as SIDS, and other unknown causes of death.

The measure, known as Senate Bill 237, would allow a parent or guardian to request a tissue sample be collected during an autopsy of a child who has succumbed to SIDS.

Wise said he was made aware of sudden infant death syndrome in May 2013. That’s when his friends, Dwayne and Chrissy Ellison, lost their third child, Finley, to SIDS at three months of age. The Scott County couple have gone on to spread awareness about SIDS and safe sleep across the nation.

Wise said it’s the hope of the Ellisons that SB 237 will lead to more answers surrounding SIDS and the causes. He added the legislation could become a model for the nation.

Wise said the passage of SB 237 would help memorialize Finely, who lived 105 days.

Senate Republican Floor Leader Damon Thayer of Georgetown thanked the Ellisons, who live in his district, for their tireless advocacy. Wise said the couple has raised more than $40,000 for SIDS awareness and research.

SB 237 passed by a 34-0 vote. It now goes to the House of Representatives for its consideration.