They say we all get our fifteen minutes of fame and in a few short hours my family, specifically my daughter, will get hers. I’m hoping this is just an introduction to her time in the spotlight because her fame is not based on any great accomplishment or good deed, but rather on lack of protection from and eventual diagnosis of rotavirus a few months ago. I still remember holding her in the hospital and looking into those sunken little eyes, a result of days of severe vomiting and diarrhea, and wishing I could make it all go away. Thinking if only there was something I could have done to have prevented this from happening to my baby girl. Little did we know, our four day hospital stay could have been avoided if she had received the recommended vaccinations. We were shocked a few weeks later when we were told that our child, who we thought was up-to-date on all her vaccinations, was now a statistic; a child who had suffered because of a vaccine-preventable disease. We are fortunate and thankful for the wonderful doctors and nurses who looked after our sweet girl during her hospitalization, but it was a trip we should have never had to make in the first place.
So why is her diagnosis garnering attention? We have been asked to be a part of Texas Children’s Hospital’s “Vaccine-Preventable Disease: The Forgotten Story,” a book that puts a face on the real life consequences of not vaccinating. As I am sure most of the families in this book would agree, it is not a book you want to be in, but we are honored to share our story in the hope that it will encourage others to immunize their children and themselves. We are fortunate. Many families featured in this book share an all too tragic loss of a son, a daughter, a brother, or a sister. If sharing our experiences and the knowledge we have learned from it opens someone’s eyes to the importance of vaccinating, mission accomplished.
Stay tuned and next week I’ll tell you all about it!