Like many other 3-year-old boys, Braxton Davis is lively and at times playfully mischievous. But he might not have survived to that age if states hadn’t temporarily loosened medical licensing requirements during the pandemic. And the road ahead for many other children and adults with potentially life-threatening health issues might be more difficult if the door closes on more flexible medical licensing.
Braxton’s parents, Beth and Brent, live in a remote area of northern Georgia. Before Braxton was born, a routine fetal echocardiogram done near his home showed that something was amiss with his heart. The problem was diagnosed as tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart disease that is actually a combination of four heart defects that disrupt normal blood flow. Fixing tetralogy of Fallot can take multiple surgeries after birth, but just how many can’t be determined until the newborn is examined.