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Newly Passed California Newborn Screening Law Likely Saved Child's Life

MISSION VIEJO ( — One Orange County family is thankful for a screening program that is now required for all newborns in California.

Tyler Cook and his wife Lori are among the first to benefit from the requirement after doctors at Mission Hospital discovered a problem in their daughter, Carlee, who was born 10 days after the law went into effect.

Newly Passed Program Likely Saves Baby's Life

The screening program, which has been mandatory in the state of California since July 1, tests the newborn children for critical congenital heart disease. The disease is reportedly found, on average, in more than 7,000 children across the county each year.

"We would have taken home what we thought was a healthy child, but could have been fatal," Tyler Cook said.

Carlee underwent heart surgery and is said to be doing fine. Her father, meanwhile, acknowledges the screening program as a "simple test" that likely saved her life.

"They put something on her finger, something on her toe, pushed a button on the machine," Cook said. "Unless you're paying attention, you don't know they're doing it."

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