'Christina's Law' Passes Del. Senate - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

'Christina's Law' Passes Del. Senate

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LEWES, Del.- It has been nearly three years since 14-year old Christina Atkins passed away after a visit to the Beebe Medical Center. The teen collapsed in a bathroom of the hospital, and with the doors being locked, hospital staff members were unable to gain access for 10 minutes.

In the aftermath of this ordeal, the state House has now taken action to pass a bill called "Christina's Law." Rep. Harvey Kenton of Milford led the charge in the House of Representatives, sponsoring the bill after getting a call from the young girl's parents. 

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the bill as well with a unanimous vote of 20-0. With the governor's signature, this bill will mandate that all Delaware hospitals setup a procedure for getting quick and easy access to bathrooms in case of an emergency. 

Harvey said this bill was an emotional one. He holds a key in his hands, as he spoke to WBOC. 

"This is the key that the parents of Christina gave to me," he said. "And they said it was two things. It was the key to her heart and the key to her hope chest." 

He said he was planning to hold on to that key until the bill was passed, as a reminder of what he was fighting for. He then said he would send it back to the family, along with a copy of the bill.

He did not face any opposition as both houses supported the bill unanimously. In the Senate, Brian Pettyjohn of Georgetown sponsored the bill.

"With this legislation and the resulting regulations that we'll make sure doesn't happen again," he said. 

Within the Beebe Medical Center, WBOC sat down with the president and CEO Jeffrey Fried. He said the tragic death served as a wake-up call for the hospital. 

"It created a new level of intensity in terms of our safety issues here," he said. "And looking at whatever it was we could do to create a safe environment."

Since that ordeal, Beebe has added new latches to allow staff members to get easy access. Soon all hospitals in Delaware will have systems similar to this one, to prevent another avoidable tragedy in Delaware. 

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