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One woman's stand against antivaxxers
*death mentioned*

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#1 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:22 PM

I lost my child to Measles

IMMUNISATION advocate Cecily Johnson takes a photo of her daughter Laine and her death certificate to anti-vaccination meetings to fight their message that "immunisation harms" after Laine lost her life to complications from measles.

I really feel for this woman. It must be heartbreaking to hear so many people trivialise the disease that caused her daughter's death.

Yep, Measles.

#2 kadoodle

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:29 PM

Poor woman.

I don't get why people trivialize measles, it's a sodding nasty bug.

#3 Soontobegran

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:31 PM

Problem is that most parents of today have not had to live through an outbreak of one of these potentially lifethreatening illnesses so it is very hard to picture the impact.
Of course the reason they haven't had to live through an outbreak is because of vaccinations....hard to figure out how that doesn't seem to taken into consideration by the anti vaxers. unsure.gif

#4 noi'mnot

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

That poor woman.

I will never understand those who are against vaccination. Maybe because I work in health, maybe because I've worked in health in third world countries and seen vaccine-preventable diseases kill people, maybe because I've been blessed with a logical brain.

I wish people, and particularly children, were not still being killed all over the world by vaccine-preventable diseases.

#5 Betty_D

Posted 02 December 2012 - 08:36 PM

It must take such courage and strength to do what she does. Hopefully her efforts will lead to lives saved.

#6 EJ75

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:07 AM

My DS2 contracted measles in Aug this year.  3 weeks before his first birthday.  I am still so angry about it as it just shouldn't have happened.  We have no idea where he contracted it from and I spent an hour on the phone with the Health Department trying to determine where his exposure might have been.

My poor child went on to develop bronchial pneumonia which can be a complication of measles.  The doctors were unsure if it was due to the measles or just plain coincidence as it was approx 6 weeks after his outbreak.

I am angry because:

1. I saw my GP immediately after I noticed the rash develop behind his ears (within 15 mins of the first couple of spots appearing) - this was a Wednesday
2. My GP brushed me off saying he had a viral infection
3. I saw a different GP the next day (Thursday) who also didn't take me very seriously but offered to do swabs.  By now DS2 was covered in spots and had conjunctivitis.  He could barely open his eyes
4. The next day (Friday) I insisted that the GP take bloods
5. The results did not come back until the Monday night - confirming measles

By now DS2 was no longer contagious and the worst was over but no one took me seriously!  I knew he had measles.  There had been a media alert that very day.  He had all the classic symptoms and why, seeing this is a notifiable disease, did it take 4 days to get the results back!

Thankfully my original GP has learnt a valuable lesson and has told me that since I originally came in with DS2, that any child that comes into his surgery with a rash is isolated and tested for measles.  He was mortified that he dismissed me and rang me the day after the Health Department contacted him to apologise.

I agree with STBG that not enough people have seen the effects of these sort of diseases so out of sight = out of mind.  Anti vaxers rely on herd immunity to protect their own children but when there are not enough people vaccinating their children outbreaks of these diseases happen.  It took DS2 another 8 weeks before he was well enough to have his 12 month immunisations.

Thank god for people like Cecily Johnson and I am so sorry for her loss.

#7 Rosiebird

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:23 AM

I don't think you can expect a GP to diagnose an evolving rash 15 min after the spots appeared.

#8 babatjie

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:41 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 03/12/2012, 09:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think you can expect a GP to diagnose an evolving rash 15 min after the spots appeared.

But  you can't diagnose an evolving rash at 15 minutes, do not diagnose anything.

Edited by babatjie, 03 December 2012 - 08:41 AM.

#9 scooty

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:45 AM

What a woman! I had measles when I was young and recovered, but did end up losing most of my eyelashes. I feel so lucky now knowing what other effects it could had on me. Good on you ceciley for turning your loss into making others aware. Im old enough to remember some major illnesses being around, but different generations can lose perspective when they don't know of anyone who has gone through it.

#10 EJ75

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:46 AM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 03/12/2012, 09:23 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think you can expect a GP to diagnose an evolving rash 15 min after the spots appeared.

Rosiebird - I didn't expect him to diagnose measles immediately but he dismissed me (almost laughing) and didn't say to me to come back in the morning if the rash gets worse.  He is extremely difficult to get in to and didn't leave it open for me to bring him back.  Hence the reason I went to a different doctor.

#11 Propaganda

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:35 AM

While I generally adopt an each-to-their-own stance in the case of vaccinations, I think her decision to attend these meetings makes sense and isn't done to be inflammatory. If people are choosing to avoid vaccinations, they should at least know the potential consequences of that decision, and if these meetings are spreading lies about no child having died from measles in X amount of years, then it's perfectly reasonable she deliver evidence to the contrary.

#12 Jane Jetson

Posted 03 December 2012 - 09:44 AM

Good for her.

A family friend has a son about my age (late 30s) who contracted measles encephalitis as an infant. He's profoundly disabled as a result, confined to a wheelchair, can't speak, requires constant high-level care. Like Laine, if he could speak I'm sure he'd have a few words to say on how benign measles is.

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