24 June, 2010

one was enough.

Dear California,

Did you know that your
department of public health
just declared Pertussis an epidemic in your state?!

Did you know that 5. . .
babies have died of pertussis in CA just this year?

Did you know that
it is the worst pertussis has been in the state in 50 years?

Did you know that you can protect
the babies in your life by getting your

This is a disease that was nearly eradicated.
and it's back.

with a vengeance.


FIVE babies.

That's not just a statistic to me.

Those are five families.

Five mothers.

Saying goodbye.

Join the fight against pertussis by liking
the Sounds of Pertussis campaign on facebook here.

Let's not wait until 5 becomes 10.

or until 10 becomes 15.

or more.

ONE was enough.

trust me.

because he was mine.

spread the word by linking to this post.

let's end this today. together.




Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

just tweeted this post

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the information Natalie. I think about you and little Gavin often. I really do. I appreciate you trying to help others and save them from what you & your family/friends have been through. That is the most honorable thing ever. Some people would be letting the grief take over. You are taking over and making an impact in spite of the grief.

I like in Ca and had no idea!

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

just added this to my do do summer list #94 1/2 http://bebeloo.blogspot.com/2010/06/94-days-of-summer.html

love you.

Heather said...

I am getting mine updated on July 8th.

Sarie said...

Linked it. Thank you.

Dawn said...

I am so sorry to hear about this! What a stupid, dumb and easily aviodable thing to have happen! My heart goes out to you and your family. I lost my son to SIDS in 2009, and agree. one shouldn't become 5, and then 5 ten, and so on without anyone doing something!

Puanani Tagoai said...

My husband told me about the pertussis epidemic in CA yesterday. The news about the 5 babies who passed away from it was heart-wrenching. I think of baby Gavin every time I hear about pertussis, and my heart breaks for you and your family all over again. My son will be 3 months soon and has had his vaccine. When he was a brand new infant, I felt like I couldn't wait until he turned 2 months to get his first dose of the DTaP vaccine. As sad as it was to see my baby get poked, I had such a huge sense of relief once he got it. My husband and I will be getting ours soon too.

Can't wait to see you in Seattle next week, Nat! ♥

MuseOddity said...

I thought of you when I saw a PSA commercial today regarding this. You are so brave to fight for other babies and mothers the way you do, I commend you. When I meet other mothers debating the DTAP vaccine I always share your story and refer them to your website. I know some have changed their mind about vaccinating after visiting your site and because of that who knows how many babies will be saved. Blessings...

tara said...

Ugh, kills me, I live in Ca and my mom, my hubby and I are all getting the shot this week, our son has already had his vaccines, thank goodness...thank you for spreding the word...when I read this I thought of you, and it wasn't even a two minute discussion between our family to get the shots!

Melody said...

I am looking online to find a place where I can go to get one other than a regular doctor's office but I can't find anything. Anyone have any ideas?

That photo. I see it and I start crying too.

Quite honestly I am glad I didn't know about this when my kids were babies. My daughter was born in Dec and it seemed like everyone was coughing. Next time I am going to be freaking out. I am really relaxed when it comes to germs. I don't want anyone coughing right on us or wiping their snot on us but I don't hide from germs either. I feel like we need to be exposed in order to build a healthy immune system. It seems to work for us so far since my kids never get sick. Seriously. They don't even get colds. Lily is 2 1/2 and has had one ear infection but nothing else. Obviously she was ok but I am somehow getting retroactively scared about those months before she was able to get her first vaccination. Clearly I am crazy.

shelly said...

I told a brand new grandma that I was sitting next to in court, of all places, about my grandbaby Gavin, and that all adults in her new grandson's life needed the vaccine. She was shocked on a number of levels, but how could I not share?? I pray that EVERYONE who hears Natalie's message, and all of ours who are passing it on, will go and do it. Lives can be saved so easily! I think of Natalie when I hear, "Go and DO!"

heidi said...

wow. and to think my kids pediatrician thought i was a tripper to want to get vaccinated and to make sure that was #1 on tyce's list. glad i did it anyways. i continue to share because of you and your fam.
i don't know if you still need make up help in seattle but beau's sister lives there and does makeup (but not hair) let me know.

Sara said...

Thank you. I posted on my facebook and will be looking into getting one for me and hubby to protect our babies.

Stephanie said...

blogged it. facebooked it. love you!

Anonymous said...

Natalie -
ACtualy got my Adult Pertusis TODAY!!! Literally - my arm is still a bit sore from the injection site ... it's only been an hour! LOL
As a photographer that specializes in babies - it's my DUTY - my RESPONSIBLITY to get this vaccine!!!
I think of Gavin often and all I can say is.... Get your Adult pertusis TODAY - do it for Gavin!


Melanie said...

I just sent this letter to my pastor.

I've been wanting to discuss something with you since LAST year when E was still working at church. You know last year that D had Pertussis (whooping cough). Around that same time E called in sick from the nursery because she was coughing too. They still wanted her to still come in because E had been on antibiotics for over 24 hours. The antibiotics would NOT have protected those little babies from catching E's Pertussis, if that's what she had. The tests ended up coming back negative on E, but that was later in the following week. I would hope that the 24 hours on antibiotics for a cough policy has been changed.

I now know that the only way to protect those babies is to surround them with vaccinated adults. I sure hope all of the church staff has been encouraged to be vaccinated.

Honestly, I don't know why I am so very convicted. Maybe it's because the booster for Pertussis totally slipped under my Mom Radar and I didn't get D the booster. Maybe it was watching D lose her summer to that black-eye-making, rib-breaking cough. Maybe it is not being able to imagine a little life struggling with the same illness. Who knows. I just feel compelled to get on my vaccinate-for-Pertussis soap box!

Here are a couple of sites for reference:

OC Register Article

(informative even though it's sponsored by a vaccine maker).

Video PSA

Thanks for listening!"

Just wanted you to know that we are all trying to get the word out. I can't even begin to imagine your loss. xoxo

Olivia said...

I was finally able to get mine this past week. It is not readily available in the UK, But I thought that I would pass on this information to you as I know so many people follow you. The Iron County, UT Health Dept is offering them free to those who don't have insurance. To those who do, they bill $60 to your insurance for you. If they are doing it maybe others are as well. :-)

One was too many!!! I love you Natalie!

Unknown said...

I linked on my blog and my facebook. Your story has both inspired me and broken my heart. I weep for you every. time. I. pray.
Please know there are many, many who stand with you in the hope of protecting every baby.

Angie Price said...

I think about you all of the time ... wish the article on Yahoo! didn't make me think of you ... but it did. I opened up your site to find that you already had a post on it. Hope you are enjoying your time with the boys ... much love ... Angie in California.

Jenni said...

So sorry for all you had to go through. I am about a week away from delivering my 4th baby and I am going to bring this up to our pediatrician and my OB. Thank you.

Tara W. said...

I saw a tweet actually a retweet... it made me stop and click on the link and then I sat for the last almost hour of my time and read your precious blog, your story. I am a child of God, wife, mother of four, daughter, sister, floral designer, and more... I have grieved my father, grandparents and friends... had a miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy... but never lost a child.

Your story made me cry both in sadness and joy. Thankful that I know the same God that you do and that he shows his mercy and grace in amazing ways. I am so glad that I can pray for you and your sweet family, so glad that Gavin is in Heaven and so sad that he is not in your arms. I will retweet and post your link on facebook... I will share your story... I will get immunized and tell others too. I will tell each of my children and family that I love them TODAY. And hug and kiss those I can. Our 11 year old currently has a staph infection and is being treated cautiously... please pray for her too. And parents the most simple symptom can be deadly... if your not sure ASK, SEE A DOCTOR. Don't take chances... one is too much.

Melissa said...

Posted to facebook, feel so so strongly about this one. My son just came off of 2 years of chemotherapy, and at 3.5 it gives me chills to think of him heading out to pre-school and catching this. He won't have a full immune system for a year, after which we can re-vaccinate him for all the antibodies that were destroyed. Until then we can only hope, and pray, he doesn't cross paths with this, it would not turn out well for him.

Kellie said...

I just wanted you to know that I have been thinking of you every time I see that on the news. And it makes me cry. In fact, I think of you every time I hear my daughter cough. I hope that's ok. I'm talking to my dr. Next week about the vaccine for my husband and myself.

banananutmeg said...

I was told today that my children were the first reported Pertussis cases here in arkanses. (yes, we had the vaccine, I love your cause, and I after the last 2 weeks we have had, I am not just GETTING the vaccine. I am going to change the world's opinion and help OTHERS get it, too. Because it makes me sick that this illness exists.)
Anyway, Listen, today, I got a call from an AR Health Dept communicable disease control rep claiming she has copies of our pertussis test results and she is asking me NOT to tell people our children were sick, because they only had a "mild case" I wanted to throw up. Instead, I yelled at her. A lot. Then I calmed down. Then I called her cell phone and yelled at her some more. And tomorrow, I will begin my research as to WHY the NW Arkansas Health Department wants to keep the outbreak of Pertussis a SECRET. People are DYING. Children are Dying. I spent the entire day on my phone. No, seriously. ALL DAY LONG. I don't understand the motive. The Health Dept? They're supposed to be on MY side, Telling people to vaccinate. Spreading the word of caution. Instead, she tells me they are "trying to avoid as many cases of Pertussis reported to the CDC as possible."
I am angry.
THis woman knew my personal information, AND she offered up personal information about my friend, and all of HER children's pertussis tests (also positive) and what strains they were, who her doc was, what kind of test he used, etc etc etc. My friend was ALSO told she is the "first case in AR" and they "their case is a mild one and they don't have to tell any one they've been in contact."
Someone here is lying.
Someone is getting paid to not have the rise of Pertussis in NWA publicized, and that someone wants to interview the parents of every child in my daughters' primary classes to find out how it got to Arkansas, and in the meantime, she is telling sick people that they are not "that sick" or "that contagious" and that antibiotics are not necessary! Yes! And tomorrow, I will find out why.

Too long. I know.
But my point is, Pertussis IS on the rise, and CLEARLY, more so than anyone is actually being told. My children and myself were vaccinated and it still managed to affect them with "mild" cases. But what about the babies? They have no defense. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE
get the pertussis vaccine for EVERYone in your home. Protect the babies. Save lives.

I'll be back with a follow up on my little big investigation on the crap that is happening here. I have a feeling it won't JUST be a California epidemic for very long. Personal phone calls asking people to keep quiet only go so far. It ended with me, today. My kids got sick, and I will NOT keep it quiet.
my blog is private, but my email is leggo_my_meg-o@juno.com

Kristin Hanson said...

I don't know you, and you don't know me, but a bloggy friend of mine linked to your blog from her facebook page and I read through your posts on your ordeal. It has got me in such a cranky mood, but not because of your story, your pain, or your faith. PLease dont' think that.

It's crankiness due to a large amount of disgust in myself.

You see, I rarely take myself or my 2 yr old daughter to the doctor, unless it's a well child visit or something very very wrong. I've grown a strong aversion to doctors that started in childhood, for reasons I wont go into.

As a mom, each time I've taken my daughter to the doctor for something I thought was serious, it turned out to be nothing. And we've been hurting for money (as most people are these days) and health care isn't cheap, esp here in California. Plus my husband is an Athletic Trainer working in a physical therapist's office, so we rely heavily on that free care. We are, however, firm believers in vaccines, and are up to date on all of them.

Anyways, a few weeks ago I became very sick with a nasty cold directly after an exposure to a sick child in Nursery. It lasted for two weeks. My daughter got sick a week after me and was better in 7 days. My husband fought it for the same amount of time in between the two of us. My parents came to visit us near the end of our sickness & my dad came down with a cold a week later. He went to the doctor - it was pertussis. Then a good friend of mine, on the other side of the country, had a similar story with her girls - a nasty cold with a diagnosis of pertussis.

I have been dismayed at myself for not hauling my booty to the doctor. Of course the one time it is serious, I don't go. Money or no money, pertussis is not something I wish to pass on to anyone. Luckily, I am the kind of crazy mom who locks up the family when we have a nasty bug. I don't even know if we did have pertussis & gave it to my parents. But we'll never know because I didn't take us to the doctor! The though of us spreading around a deadly disease nauseates me.

So thank you for sharing your grief and pain in your beautiful way. I can't say that I understand your pain or even begin to imagine it. But I can say that I admire your strength to share your raw pain with the world and have helped to teach me a valuable lesson - to take ourselves to the doctor & to continue to keep sick people away from healthy people.

May the Lord continue to soothe your pain, to help you on the road of recovery from such devastating loss, and to heal your family. My thought and prayers are with you, eventhough we have never met & in all probability, never will.

Thank you again.

Kristin Hanson said...

and the friend I mentioned is banananutmeg, who posted right before me. :)

Unknown said...

Thanks for informing me of this. I have followed your story from the beginning. I actually gave birth to my first baby on Jan. 10 of this year. Before Gavin I had NO CLUE there was something like this out there. And to tell you the truth, I became super paranoid and kept his little booty away from people for a while. I have been diligent in keeping myself and my family informed and vaccinated ever since. THANK YOU for that gift! It makes me sick to my stomach thinking of what you and your sweet family had/are going through. Your strength astounds me. I have tweeted and blogged to my fellow Californians about getting vaccinated and I hope that it can help spread the word and stop all this nonsense. all i can say is thanks again.

richie said...

Dear BananaNutMeg-- I suggest you seriously contact a local news station to help you investigate and resolve this matter. Seriously. I am in complete and utter shock right now.

There is a book called The Great Influenze (here is the book link at amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Great-Influenza-Deadliest-Plague-History/dp/0670894737)

The book describes how influenza spread and killed so many thousands of people because public health officials lied and misrepresented information about the disease because they didn't want to scare the public.

If you can discover and change what is happening in your area you will truly save lives.

Thank you SO much for not giving in.


Richie (Nat's husband)

Anonymous said...

I am getting mine Monday. I had no idea about this disease being back until you told your story. I think about you and little Gavin daily and have for months. My heart breaks for your family every day. Your words are so powerful and move me. I am very scared about the epidemic in California since I am sure it will spread beyond the state in no time or perhaps it already has and is just not being publicized. Thank you for the gift of information and I will continue to pray for your family.

Camp Isaac Mama said...

Every time I see a commercial for 'Sounds', my heart drops and I realize I'm holding my breath.

I got my vaccine.

And I'm telling everyone I know to get one too.

My thoughts are with you so often, even though I don't really know you.

Have fun camping this weekend with your beautiful family.


Stephanie said...

Saw it on the News here in Cali! Glad they are spreading the word...although i too am in shock by the statistics:(

David N. Brown said...

I'm surprised nobody in the anti-vaccine movement is showing up here. I have actually seen them denigrate reports of well-documented deaths from preventable disease as "scaremongering", while insisting that their unsubstantiated anecdotes about autism or other boogeymen of choice following vaccination be treated as news. It would appear that even people willing to libel, threaten and censor their critics do not have the chutzpah to tell a mother that her child's death is more acceptable than their children being diagnosed with autism.

My condolences.

Toni McCaffery said...

Hi Natalie. I've added this link to my beautiful Dana's Facebook page - one of three beautiful babies that died of Pertussis in Australia last year (www.danamccaffery.com) We had the words 'just one baby' said over and over again to us when Dana died.

One is just too many and is life shattering.

All our love to your family and thank you so much.

David N. Brown said...

Pardon a shameless plug, but your comment reminded me a little of this opening chapter for a fan fiction novella of mine:


The two ideas I wished to convey here were that "genocide" is not defined simply by body count, and that to a child a broken heart is an apocalypse.

On a less tangential note, last fall and again early this month I rebutted and roasted an especially idiotic "anti-vaxxer" who claimed that Australia had no H1N1 vaccine and no flu epidemic. In my more recent reply, I drew attention to the fact that actual reports of the flu in Australia indicated an especially heavy toll of Aborigines. My conclusion was that he made it sound very much like, in his mind, "poor black bastards don't count."

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a joke for a moment.

Tabitha-Ann said...

I just want to post to express my sorrow at your loss. I discovered this blog through angel Dana McCaffery's memorial page- and I am distressed at the fact that more babies are dying from a disease that can be prevented.

As Toni has written- she and her husband have been told many times that Dana was 'just one baby', it has been distressing for me to hear and read this over the past year and I'm not even family or a close friend.

What I am is sick and tired of watching babies turn blue from their coughing episodes, I'm sick and tired of sending them to the intensive care unit and wondering if they will be coming back to the ward at some point, and I am tired of having to answer the question 'can my baby die from this?' when the only answer I can give is "We're going to try our best not to let that happen, but yes babies can die from whooping cough"

I do my job because I love to help and I love to watch 'my kids' (it's what I call them lol) get better, or to help those who aren't going to get better to pass with as much peace as possible.

But I'm tired of seeing children suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases.

I wish your family nothing but the best and what small support I can give to you during this time.

Yours Sincerly,
Tabitha-Ann R.N. PostGrad Dip Immun.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here crying, reading your blog. It brings back memories of my own son's illness. Thankfully we still have our little boy.

Thank you for telling people your story. It is such a shame that it takes the sickness and death of little babies for people to become aware.

Young Family said...

I'm so sorry! I know what it is like to have a baby leave this earth too soon. I will be talking to the doctor to see if I need a booster. Thanks for spreading the word.