ST. CHARLES – With their children and grandchildren nearby, George and Mary Laman of Campton Hills sat next to Gov. Pat Quinn on Thursday as the governor signed a bill inspired by the Lamans' late daughter into law.
George Laman said he has no doubts his daughter is smiling down on the family, proud.
"This was something that, even though it was not easy, had to be done," he said. "We as a family did it."
The Lauren Laman Bill requires all students in Illinois high schools to learn how to use an automatic external defibrillator and administer CPR.
Lauren Laman was 18 when she went into sudden cardiac arrest during drill team practice at St. Charles North High School in 2008.
Although an automatic external defibrillator, or AED, was yards from where she collapsed, it was not used, and paramedics were unable to resuscitate her when they arrived.
The Lamans drafted the bill with help from State Rep. Dan Burke, D-Chicago, who filed it in October 2013.
Despite people telling George Laman the bill had no chance of success, the right people believed in it, he said, describing the support as "utterly tremendous."
Quinn signed the bill, which amends the Critical Health Problems and Comprehensive Health Education Act, at the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Convention in Bloomington.
George Laman said it was an emotional moment. Keeping their promise to their daughter "means everything to us," he said, adding he also experienced a feeling of emptiness knowing the price his family paid.
"At least we know we will save many lives in her name," he said.
The law takes effect July 1.
"Lauren, we love you," George Laman said. "We will love you forever, from our family."