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ICYMI: Governor Rauner Signs Annie’s Law

Yesterday, Governor Rauner signed Annie’s Law, enabling first responders to carry and administer EpiPens in life or death situations. The law, named after Annie LeGere who passed away following an allergic reaction, will save lives and stoop the tragedies that Annie’s family and the Elmhurst community suffered three years ago.

Check out the coverage from the Chicago Tribune:

The amended law signed by Rauner at Elmhurst’s City Hall Tuesday includes a provision that protects healthcare providers who issue the medicine from liability except in cases that are considered wanton and willfully reckless, said Sen. Chris Nybo (R-Elmhurst), who sponsored the legislation.

“I think the lesson is, especially when you’re doing something that’s very unique, you encounter unanticipated obstacles along the road,”said Nybo, adding that only one other state has similar legislation — New Jersey. Nybo said he hopes Illinois’ law will help inspire similar programs across the U.S.

“Getting this medicine is the difference between life and death frequently,” he said.

Annie’s friends and family members, and law enforcement officers from Elmhurst and surrounding communities packed the Elmhurst City Council for the signing.

Rauner praised Annie’s parents, Shelly and John LeGere, for staying dedicated to their mission despite their own grief and the setbacks involved in passing legislation.

“We owe you an incredible amount of gratitude,” Rauner said. “Every life we save — and there will be many due to this legislation — will be due to Annie and to you.”

…At the signing Tuesday, Cathryn Hanson, one of Annie’s best friends who has remained close to Shelly LeGere and involved with the foundation, recounted the harrowing moments she and her friends experienced while watching their friend fall unconscious during their sleepover, leaving them all sobbing as they awakened the host parents and waited for emergency responders.

“I would do anything to have my best friend back,” said Hanson, who said she feels Annie’s absence at every milestone, from getting her driver’s license to attending her first high school Homecoming dance. “What happened to Annie that night shouldn’t happen to anyone ever again.”

Nybo, who also sponsored a 2011 law that permits schools to keep epinephrine auto-injectors in stock for general use — going beyond the past practice, where school offices held epinephrine auto-injectors only for students who obtained personal prescriptions — said 122 epinephrine auto-injectors used administered at Illinois schools last school year.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that expanding epinephrine availability in our state… does, indeed, save lives,” Nybo said.