A few years ago I took myself out of the vaccination debate. I learned a long time ago not to bite when baited by the "pro vaccine" camp which included doctors, nurses, friends, family and even strangers. However, this recent hysteria surrounding the measles and the downright nasty, vile, abusive and outrageous comments that followed after and are continuing to pour in on my news feed have me more... than a little upset. Because my dear sister Katie has a dog in this fight too, here is her story. Take it for what it is.
My sister Katie was born in the spring of 1982. Long before people like Jenny Mccarthy or Andrew Wakefield were ever on anyones radar. A healthy normally developing baby up until she was 11 months old. She developed a fever and as a result suffered a febrile seizure. She was taken to emergency and seen by a physician who assured both of my parents that this sort of thing is common in some children and to merely be more vigilant anytime she spiked a fever in the future. She was then sent home. What my parents did not know at the time was that this ER physician had taken it upon himself to write a letter of caution to their family doctor that stated that he felt it was in my sisters " best interest not to continue receiving her vaccinations because of what he felt was her increased risk of an adverse reaction". Life went on as normal for my family until at 18 months old my sister went for her routine vaccination (DTaP). The doctor never disclosed the letter she recieved and went ahead with her shots. Within days my sister was hospitalized with encephalitis (yes, she is your one in a million). Doctors said the swelling in her brain was so severe that the lining between the brain and the skull had literally fused to her skull. Since then my sister Katie has suffered from daily seizures and has progressively gotten worse as the years go by. Multiple pneumonias yearly due to the loss of being able to swallow without aspirating. Brain surgeries, a bought with life threatening sepsis that left her on life support in 2012 are among the many things she has had to endure. My sister is resigned to a hospital bed and now requires a feeding tube and 24 hr care. The letter was eventually found many years later in my sisters records and was the key piece that sparked a human rights lawsuit and my sister was added as part of an already ongoing class action suit. A judge determined much like the sentiments we hear from the "pro vaxxers" that what happened to my sister and the rest of the families involved was considered an acceptable loss for the greater good. My sister "took one for the team" and then the team turned its back on her though she never volunteered as tribute. Considering all that my sister has survived im sure she would have licked measles too. So to the Jennifer Hibben-Whites of the world and as she so eloquently wrote on her facebook before she set it to private after her post went viral. F*** you. F*** you right back. I no longer have the time or patience and simply do not give a f*** to waste time explaining or defending my rights or my choice to not vaccinate my child to people like you. I am too busy spending my time taking care of my sister and trying to give her the best quality of life I can for everything that was robbed from her. She gave her life so that your child wouldn't be threatened by whooping cough or god forbid the measles. So next time show a little respect. There, I feel better now.
I know this post will cause me to lose more than a few "friends". I am no longer scared and I don't care. To those that leave please remember god forbid if your childs or your grandchilds number ever gets called please look me up. I will be the first to lend my support and love.