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Aidan's Story

Aidan Bell

Like most boys his age, Aidan has enough energy to challenge any superhero. He is the tallest kid in his class, has an IQ well above normal and enjoys a wide variety of healthy activities.

When Aidan is in the room, his laughter leaves everyone smiling!

Without newborn screening, however, Aidan's story might have been a very different one.

In the first few hours of his life, Aidan received a newborn screening test. This important test, which Aidan does not remember, required a small sample of blood to be taken from his heel and sent to the CDPHE Newborn Screening laboratory.

The newborn screening test detects rare inherited disorders, that otherwise would not be apparent in seemingly healthy newborn infants. Aiden's test revealed a metabolic condition known as Phenylketonuria, or PKU. Infants with PKU are born without the ability to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. If left untreated PKU usually leads to mental retardation, stunted physical development and emotional problems.


Early detection and a customized diet results in a favorable outcome of healthy brain and nerve development in PKU children.

"Our gratitude to the CDPHE Newborn Screening Program and the staff at Denver Children's Hospital cannot be measured. As an employee of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, I am aware of many of the preventative programs that are implemented at the state level. My son Aidan's tremendous vitality reminds me about the far-reaching impact that these programs have."

Korey Bell
Continuity of Operations Coordinator
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Emergency Preparedness and Response Division