My heart is heavy, as I e-mailed with parents this past weekend who lost their 18 year old son a month ago. After many conversations back and forth, I learned that the boy, when he was 11, had received the initial dose of the meningitis vaccine.
He did not receive a booster dose, and he passed away from one of the vaccine-preventable strains. My heart just aches for what this family is going through. They did not know about a booster dose. They thought they had protected their son.
I hope this will be a wake-up call to make sure all children are up-to-date with CDC recommended vaccines.
Having lived over 14 years now without my son, sometimes I try to block out days and thoughts, because if I didn’t, I would just scream and cry a river. Today I realized we are into November, and it is the time of year to give thanks.
I am thankful for the 20 years I had my son, for the years he and his younger brother had to play sports together, hang out together, and just be best buds. I am thankful for the joy he brought to my life.
I wanted that time to go on forever, but a disease beyond my control did not make that possible. I think how lucky parents are now, that they can protect their children against meningitis and so many other vaccine-preventable diseases. I hope all of you take a moment to thank the researchers and scientists who have made it possible for us to protect our children. Make sure that this year, you don’t have to give thanks for what was, but what can be. Please vaccinate.