Two For Two Priceless Pertussis Protection Program
Carter was only 7 weeks old when he earned his wings on January 28th, 2010 and Brady was just over 2 months old when he joined him two years later on January 28th, 2012. Though they would never come to know each other in this world, these two precious little boys had a lot in common. They were both born happy and healthy. They were both loved by their parents, siblings and the many other family and friends who knew them. They both contracted a vaccine preventable disease known as pertussis, or whooping cough, and spent many days and nights in the hospital struggling to survive.
And while their time here on Earth may have been brief, both Carter and Brady had a very specific purpose to their lives. Their struggles, and our sorrow over their loss, is a constant reminder of how we can save others. In an effort to spare other families from experiencing the pain of losing a child, Felicia, Daryl, Kathy and Jon – like many other parents who have lost children to pertussis – are educating others about the importance of immunization. Therefore, on this special anniversary, they’re asking us to help spread their message.
I consider it the Two For Two Priceless Protection Program. In memory of these two angels, please tell at least two adults to get their Tdap booster so we can help prevent pertussis in other infants. You can share it as a Facebook status, send a tweet, deliver an e-card, suggest they sign a pledge to get vaccinated, or simply make a phone call and a simple request. Whatever you choose to do, know that your efforts are not only helping to honor Carter and Brady, but they may be responsible for saving other infants from suffering with the same deadly disease that Carter and Brady did.
Brady’s mother Kathy explains,
“Losing a baby we loved is more than any parent should have to suffer. That’s why our new mission is to educate everyone to get a Tdap booster shot, especially if they have any contact with newborns. Nothing can bring back our baby. But hopefully we can help prevent another tragedy by getting our message out. A web page we started called Brady’s Cause simply asks people to pledge to get vaccinated. It’s a simple gesture that could save a young life.”
While today we remember Carter and Brady, these two little boys represent many other precious children who have also suffered and died as a result of pertussis over the years. Their names are many, but their stories are sadly similar. Let’s do what we can to protect the children in our communities. Get your adult Tdap vaccine and encourage others to do so as well.
Carter’s story is shared on the Vaccinate Your Baby website here and you can read his story in his mother’s words here. A video available in the Shot By Shot Gallery here, shows how Carter’s small body was transformed and overcome by the pertussis infection.
Brady’s battle is detailed in these other blog posts on Shot of Prevention here, here, here and here. His story is also featured in the Shot By Shot Story Gallery here.