MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An I-TEAM investigation into the death of a little girl at her daycare has the attention of state lawmakers.
Last summer, Hannah Kozitza choked on a grape at Golden Heart Child Care Center in North Mankato. She died at the hospital. There were many questions about how those caring for her Hannah handled what happened that day.
The I-TEAM found under the law, only one day care worker must be trained in CPR. That could soon change.
The days don’t seem to get much easier for the family Hannah Kozitza left behind — a mom, dad and an older sister, who misses her best friend.
“We take one day at a time. We still hurt. We’ll always hurt. We miss her a lot,” said Jenni Kozitza.
Hannah was a 4-year-old girl who loved the water and to laugh. Her death is now a desire for change.
“The reality of this whole thing is Hannah went to daycare and didn’t come home. How much was that based on not being qualified to take care of her?” said Ron Edlund, Hannah’s grandfather.
This fall, the I-TEAM uncovered what happened in her final moments: a worker didn’t realize right away that Hannah choked and then made a call to Hannah’s parents before calling 911. There was no proof the first day care worker had been trained in CPR, though, under Minnesota law just one person on a child care site has to be.
“I couldn’t believe that was actually the case,” Edlund said.
Representative Mary Liz Holberg, a republican from Lakeville, has worked with the Kozitzas to write Hannah’s Law which calls for all teachers and assistant teachers in child care centers to complete CPR training.
“If there’s something we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again, then I think we need to do it as lawmakers,” said Holberg.
The state fined Golden Heart for not calling 911 first and put the day care on probation for a year.
“It was a slap on the wrist to them, but a stab in the back to us. We have to live everyday without our daughter gone,” Justin Kozitza said.
They know they won’t get Hannah back, that’s why they will chose to fight for the safety of other children, just like her.
“We miss her so much it’s just unbelievable,” said Edlund.
If this law is passed, it will get Minnesota in line with what other states already require, like Wisconsin.
The Kozitzas will testify at the capitol in a few weeks lobbying for Hannah’s Law.