Our Light for Riley
How our journey began
On the 13th of February 2015, proud parents Catherine and Greg Hughes along with their daughter .. welcomed their beautiful baby boy, Riley. Their time together as a family was precious and sadly, short-lived, with Riley passing away 32 days later from whooping cough.
The grieving process for the Hughes family was encapsulated through their determination of creating a legacy for their little boy. And so began, Light For Riley.
Flash forward to 2016 and the grief is still extremely real but Riley’s legacy has grown to unimaginable heights through the commitment of Riley’s family to prevent this tragedy from happening to another family. Catherine Hughes has led the fight to ensure every child, pregnant mother and family member not only has information about the importance of immunisation but also access to the vaccinations.
“Nearly a quarter of babies in Australia are being born with no protection against whooping cough. Considering it is a disease that is most deadly in those first few weeks of life, and a disease that is pretty prevalent around Australia, this is worrying.” Says Catherine Hughes. “A third trimester booster against whooping cough reduces the chance of your newborn contracting whooping cough by 90% which is such an incredible advancement in being able to stop babies dying from this disease.”
Since Riley’s passing, Catherine and Greg Hughes have worked tirelessly meeting with medical professionals, politicians and organisations to ensure sanctions are put in place to educate parents on the importance of babies and parents being vaccinated and Riley’s Light continues to shine.
“80 000 babies were born in Australia last year without any protection to whooping cough. I hope this year that number is significantly reduced – we never want another child to go through what Riley did.”