Texas-born Kari's Law heads to the White House
A Texas law is becoming a national one. Three years after Governor Greg Abbott signed it in Texas, Kari's Law made its way through Congress.
The law will protect families by making 911 more accessible in buildings with multiple phone lines. It was set in motion after Austin-born Kari Hunt's murder in 2013.
When making a call from a hotel, office building or school you usually have to dial "9" first to get an outside line, but would you remember that in an emergency? It's a road block children aren't taught about and that extra "9" stopped a little girl from getting potentially life-saving help for her mom.
911 -- three little numbers with the power to save lives. In 2013, Kari Hunt's husband attacked her inside an East Texas hotel room. Their oldest daughter called 911 for help but all of the calls failed because the phone required her to dial a "9" first. It's a tragedy Kari's family never wants to see happen again.
"It's not just about kids. It's about any scenario and you don't think about these scenarios until you're in them," says Loni Jeschke, Kari's little sister.
Jeschke and Kari's Aunt Robbi Cross are part of the family that's traveled the state and country with one mission -- to make sure 911 contacts 911 anywhere and from any phone line.
"For her life to be taken the way that it [was], I think that's the hardest because she was such a strong individual," says Jeschke.
In 2015, Kari's Law was passed in Texas. Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill with Kari's daughter by his side. Friday the law made its way to The White House—on what would have been Kari's 36th birthday.
"Every year when this day comes around you can't help but think, 'You know what? She's still laughing up there. She's still watching over those babies of hers and all of us," says Cross.
It's one family's story that's inspiring change across the country. For those she's left behind it's both wonderful and bittersweet.
"All I want to think about is the happiness because it was so horrible what happened to her, but something fantastic is coming out of it," says Jeschke.
Kari's Law is headed to the president's desk for final approval. After that buildings will have two years to make sure 911 calls 911 without an extra "9" needed.