(Beaver Dam) A bill authored by two local politicians that will help those with disabilities have organ transplant surgeries was signed by Governor Tony Evers on Friday. Representative Mark Born from Beaver Dam and Senator John Jagler from Watertown authored the bill after hearing from constituents in Brownsville that their son was ineligible for the surgery.
Malix Kulczewski, who has Down Syndrome, was born with a heart condition. When discussing options with his medical team, Malix’s parents were informed that their son would not be eligible for a heart transplant due his disability. Born says the parents reached out to both Jagler and himself roughly two years ago to change the law. He says as they started to research the bill it was a common standard nationally that individuals with disabilities were not considered for surgery due to quality of life issues or the ability to take follow up medicines.
Born says while introducing the legislation at the capital, a 17-year-old with Down Syndrome testified how the medical loophole is discriminatory against people with a disability. He says the girl told legislators that about 30-years-ago people with Down Syndrome were only living into their late twenties, now they are living into their sixties.
Born says when they began researching this issue there was less than a dozen states that had ratified similar legislation, now there are close to 30. He says Malix underwent a difficult surgery to repair his heart and is doing well today, recently celebrating his fifth birthday.