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One reason why I vaccinate

Posted Mar 02 2010 9:38pm

I know this isn’t at all autism related, but this story just keeps bugging me.

The story is heartbreaking. A couple has fertility problems and tries for years to have a baby.

But the couple’s desire to have children soon turned to heartache as Katie suffered miscarriage after miscarriage.

“We started to think that it would never happen,” Craig said during a recent interview at the family’s home.Katie later went to see a specialist in Chicago and was diagnosed with a rare blood clot disorder that doctors said was affecting her ability to carry a baby to full term. She was prescribed medication.

Finally, after five years, Katie became pregnant with a baby girl that far surpassed previous pregnancy terms.

They finally have a baby, only to lose her at one month from pertussis.

Days later, pertussis tests came back positive.The diagnosis blindsided the family. How could Callie have contracted the illness? She had been far too young to yet be immunized against the bacterial infection. Series of shots against pertussis do not begin until infants are 2 months old.

The couple had also kept outside family and friends away while Callie was home in an effort to protect her from sickness. She had been home from the hospital only 2 1/2 weeks.

St. Joseph County coroner Dr. Michael O’Connell confirmed to The Tribune that Callie likely died of an infectious-type illness such as pertussis, but he said conclusive tests will not be complete for several more weeks.

These sorts of stories are very difficult to discuss. This family is going through pain beyond anything in my experience and I certainly don’t want to add to that. But this story is a real example of one reason I vaccinate myself and my family. I can’t imagine thinking that I or one of my family had passed on an infectious disease to a family with an infant or someone else vulnerable.

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