Milestone Day for Riley’s little sister

Milestone days are always the toughest and yesterday was emotionally challenging. We took this little superhero to go and get her 6 month vaccinations. She was a gem, we had no complications and we can now say she’s made it through a particularly fragile time of her life.

What hurts is that these are needles her brother should’ve lived to see, this is protection he should’ve already received and this is now a time where we should be planning and preparing for his 2nd Birthday a little over two weeks from now. Instead we’re a family that no matter how hard we try, will forever be left with an enormous hole that can never be filled.

This next 2 month window is tinged with sadness at a time where we should be celebrating. Riley’s birthday, our wedding anniversary, and Catherine’s birthday all fall within such a short period of time. The fact that Riley’s passing falls smack bang in the middle of it all means each one of these occasions is now bittersweet.

We’re a family who has felt the impact of vaccine preventable disease and it changes the fabric of how you live your life. Get your maternal booster, make sure your children follow the childhood immunisation schedule and avoid the bittersweet days.

Trust me, they’re not fun.

-Riley’s Dad

Doctors urge parents to vaccinate after confirmed cases of Measles in WA

Several babies in Western Australia have been infected by measles after a “non-vaccinating” family brought the preventable disease back from Bali.

This latest instance is another example of when parents choose not to vaccinate, they are choosing to risk the lives of not only their own children, but babies too young to be vaccinated, and other vulnerable members of our community.

As quoted in a recent edition of The West Australian newspaper a family who had not immunised their three children returned from a Bali holiday with one of their children infected with measles resulting in an increase in the confirmed cases of measles in infants in the area.

“People wonder why we get so concerned by small numbers of cases like this but this is exactly how a bushfire starts,” commented President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Miller said to the newspaper.

“Unvaccinated families are essentially walking around our cities in summer throwing matches into dry grass, and suddenly you can get a wild fire that destroys lives.

“It’s either out of laziness or because they’re reading strange things on the internet instead of listening to the real experts.”

Babies are not vaccinated against measles until they are 12 months old. Please do your bit to help protect them

Source: thewest.com.au

Jasmine’s Story – Pneumococcal Disease

Jasmine’s Story – As told by her mother Andrea Identical twins Gabrielle and Jasmine were delivered on Christmas Eve 2002. Their long term survival was questionable from day one. They both had heart defects and severe respiratory problems, however most devastatingly they were both found to be suffering from congenital bone marrow failure disease. I […]

Vaccine Needle

Catherine Hughes celebrates news of WA vaccination rates

Catherine Hughes expressed her recent joy on the news that her home state of Western Australia can now boast one of the highest rates of vaccination in the world.

The passing of her baby boy Riley, from the vaccine preventable disease Pertussis (whooping cough) made headlines around the world through her and her husbands fierce campaigning to educate parents and expectant mothers against the dangers of choosing not to vaccinate.

The campaigning created huge momentum through their social media page Light For Riley and resulted in several changes being made at both state and federal levels.

Since Riley’s unnecessary passing from the disease the federal government implemented their ‘No jab No pay’ legislation withdrawing government benefits to those parents who choose not vaccinate.  In addition to this the Hughes family experienced one of the biggest triumphs in their plight which was to ensure that the Whooping Cough vaccine was readily available and free to pregnant women.

Catherine reflects on these milestones and the exciting news that Western Australia is leading the way in stomping out vaccine preventable diseases through immunisation.

Read the full article here: Catherine Hughes speaks to The West Australian about Success for Free Whopping Cough Vaccine

Catherine Hughes interview for The West Australian. Photo Credit: Ross Swanborough, The West Australian