Home > Parent Perspective, Preventable Diseases, Testimonials > Mother’s Facebook Updates Detail Son’s Tragic Death from Pertussis

Mother’s Facebook Updates Detail Son’s Tragic Death from Pertussis

BradysMemoryBrady was born on November 20, 2011 and weighed in at a healthy 8 lbs., 6 oz.  His parents, Jon and Kathy, thought they were taking every precaution to protect their baby.  They even insisted that friends and family wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before they were permitted to pick him up.  What they didn’t realize was that these actions wouldn’t be enough to protect their precious son from a dangerous disease called pertussis.

Since infants don’t begin receiving vaccinations for pertussis (also known as whooping cough) until they are two months old, they remain vulnerable to this highly contagious disease at a time when they are most fragile.  Today we share Brady’s battle in the same way that his mother did; through her Facebook status updates.  This small glimpse into one family’s heartbreak reminds us of how fragile a young life can be and highlights how important adult pertussis boosters are in sparing others from suffering and possibly even death.

In early January, Brady’s parents suspected that he was coming down with a cold.  When his fever spiked to 104 they brought him to the ER where he was subjected to a multitude of tests, but ultimately sent home where they continued to monitor his condition.  

Brady’s mother Kathy kept her friends and family updated on Brady’s condition through her personal Facebook posts.

January 9 : I hate when one of my babies are sick. Had to go to the ER on sat/sun morning because of a high temp. They ran tests and everything came back negative, thank god! Went to his pedi today. Got more blood work. It’s just a cold, no medicine. Thankfully he is fine! Hope my little guy gets better soon :(

January 11: Went to the pedi office this morning with my Brady pants. His breathing was worrying us. We have to do updraft treatments every few hours and go back for 6 to see the md. Poor little guy :(

January 15 : Home. My sis is here, bought us a humidifier for Brady for Christmas.  Hopefully it will help with his horrible cough! When will this end? Its horrible having him so sick :(

One week later, Jon and Kathy were back at the hospital with Brady.  While the staff worked diligently to help Brady, his condition was constantly changing and the uncertainty was extremely stressful.

BradyAndJonJanuary 16: Well Brady is being admitted to BMC for his breathing. We have a room in ICU for babies.

January 17: Brady is still having a high respiration rate.  Not a change. I feel he’s getting worse :(  I guess with this particular virus this is what we can expect …worse before better.

January 17:  Hhhhhhhh…wish he was better now 😦 

January 17:  Daddy went home to be with the girls and let them sleep in their own beds.  Just me Brady and the Bruins ♥ Hopefully we have a quiet night… On a good note his breathing is getting better and he even gave daddy a smile before he left! Keep the prayers coming. They are being heard! High possibility no breathing tube will be needed.

January 17:  Guess who’s awake and feeling a little better

January 17:  A little smile. He is saving them all for the nurses little flirt! — with Jonathan Alcaide.

January 18: Yeah they are going to try to give my little bruiser some food when he wakes up! I can or Jon, whichever is here, a bottle :)  Its been well over a day and a half since he’s eaten ♥

January 19:  This has been a long, long journey. I don’t ever want to go through this again, and wouldn’t wish this upon my worst enemy. Brady is doing ok. Unfortunately he can’t eat on his own. We have to put the feeding tube back in because oral feeding is too much right now for the little guy :(

January 20: Well 2 months ago I had my handsome little boy ♥ and today is day 5 in the pedi ICU.  Hopefully good news will be coming our way.

January 21: My shift back at the hospital with the baby ♥ Just wish we were out of here and home snuggling, watching the snow fall as a whole family :(

January 21: It’s hard when you see everyone coming and going from this unit, seems everyone but Brady is getting better :(  When will it end? Just want to bring my son home. So tired and exhausted hopefully some good news tomorrow.

January 22: Don’t want to jinx it, but Mr Brady pants is being weaned off his oxygen flow. Dr. Duda, the respiratory md, says he sounds and looks great and we soon can start the feedings back up :)  Keeping positive my little guy will be out soon.

January 23: Brady is still doing the same. They finally, after 8 days, started him on antibiotics. They think its whooping cough. The min we can leave is 5 days! This is the worst experience I ever had to go through :(  So thankful to have Jon.  We are side by side holding each other’s hand balancing this and the girls.  Boy, after this, we need a vacation.

January 23: So now they have to place a breathing tube :(  Keep praying for my baby ♥

January 24: They are switching out the ventilator because his body wasn’t responding like they wanted it to; his carbon dioxide level was on the high side. Now they are starting him on heliox system…my poor baby just looks so still, I can’t wait till this crap is done and over with :(

January 26: Just to let everyone know, Brady’s status is not getting better.  Not worse ,but we have a team of attendings that are going to be taking on his case with the md that he has had…They are assessing him now and going to brainstorm on what is going to happen next. Just want my baby back :(  Healthy

At this point there was little that Brady’s parents could do but pray that their precious boy would get better.  As Brady’s condition grew desperate he was transferred to Boston Children’s Hospital.  

January 27: We are now at Boston’s Children Hospital. Brady is in critical condition. His heart stopped and they had to give him compressions…We are waiting to see him. They put him on a heart and lung bypass machine. They are worried about brain injury.  Please pray he will be a healthy boy playing baseball someday. I will try to update as much as I can.

Sadly, Brady passed away the next day, just barely 2 months old. Kathy’s Facebook update read:

January 28: Brady Robert Alcaide 11/20/11~1/28/12 May the angels carry him home

Today Kathy comments on the experience:

“Jon and I were beyond stunned. The disease just moved so fast. It wasn’t actually until after Brady was gone that we got an official diagnosis that confirmed he had whooping cough. People don’t think much about diseases like whooping cough these days.  I know that before going through this nightmare, I never would have imagined this could happen— and even the best medical care couldn’t help.

Losing a baby we loved is more than any parent should have to suffer. That’s why our mission since his loss has been to educate everyone on the importance of the adult Tdap booster shot, especially for people who 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 and a way to help raise awareness and make a difference in the lives of others.”

It’s been exactly two years since Kathy and Jon lost their son Brady.  They have since welcomed another precious baby boy, Jaxon into the world.  As regional advocates for Every Child By Two they continue to use Brady’s story to educate people about the risks of pertussis, the vaccine that is available to help prevent it and the importance of adult Tdap boosters in protecting those too young to be vaccinated.

BradyAndFamilyPlease let Kathy and Jon know how much you appreciate them by sharing Brady’s story and signing their pledge to get vaccinated here.

For more detailed information about pertussis, a list of resources and details about how to protect yourself and your loved ones, click here.

You can also view Brady’s story, as well as many stories of other infants, adolescents and adult who’ve suffered with pertussis, on Shot By Shot here.

Other Shot of Prevention posts that have highlighted Brady’s story can be found here:


  1. January 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Reblogged this on The Polk County Immunization Coalition and commented:
    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    Like

  2. Heather Filteau
    January 28, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Just got mine today and I just finished reading your story tonight I’m glad I got it!!! Sorry for your loss thank you for your story!

    Like

  3. jamie
    January 28, 2014 at 10:50 pm

    My heart goes out to u and ur family..

    Like

  4. Elaine
    January 29, 2014 at 3:26 am

    What a sweet, sweet face he had. I’m so sorry for your loss. I hope that we can A) get everyone aware and immunized, and B) make the vaccine more effective. We need to save lives, precious lives like Brady’s.

    Like

  5. January 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

    This is Vicki Mc Combs from Oskaloosa Iowa God bless you and your precious family God has another precious little angel

    Like

  6. Erica
    January 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I’m currently pregnant with my second child and I have already gotten my Tdap vaccination and I have been telling all my friends and family they need to get this if they want to hold my baby because I too was pregnant with my first baby in 2011 and seen commercials about pertussis. My son passed away at 2 days old from Transposition of the Great Arteries.

    Like

  7. Kristen Nicotra
    January 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    This is soo close to my heart! My baby girl at two months survived pertussis ( she is now 9 months)! I would love to offer support anyway I can! I’m so sorry for your loss! We need to create awareness! When your ready, please please reach out to me and together we can spread awareness and knowledge of pertussis! We need to do something so other parents won’t have to experience what we’ve gone through ( especially with your pain of loosing a child )….my email is kristentgrace@gmail.com face book- Kristen Nicotra

    Like

  8. Judy Shell
    January 29, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your of the journey and loss of your infant son Brady. I will share your story hopefully to create / increase awareness of your story and the danger of pertussis.

    Like

  9. January 30, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    January29@7 mpm
    I am very sorry to hear about precious babies that died because of the diseases pertussis.You are exceptional parents ,that are willing to share this information with others .So that they will be spared ,that their chlild will live ,and the importance of the Vaccination.My e mail is brassydoll@hotmail.com.face book Ruth.

    Like

  10. Michelle Marsala
    January 30, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Your Brady is a sweet Angel in Heaven watching over you! Sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully this will prevent another story like this from happening to another sweet Angel!

    Like

  11. Tamara Colon
    January 30, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    My son came down with pertussis at three weeks old. He weighed a whopping 10lbs 6oz at birth and was healthy. It, too, started as a cold. We spent ten days in the hospital. I suppose God decided it wasnt his time yet. He got better and we went home. Today he is a healthy 10 yr old. I had no idea how lucky he was to over come this disease.

    Like

  12. Steve DeStefano
    January 31, 2014 at 2:11 am

    I lost my son Dillon at 6 weeks old from Pertussis. He was misdiagnosed, they thought he just had a bad cold. He seemed to be getting better so we went on vacation at Myrtle Beach. At the beach he was doing fine, then on the day we were leaving things got bad. I checked on him as we were packing to leave and noticed he was turning blue. I called the ambulance and he was admitted to the local hospital. At first they thought it was RSV. But later on that night he started having seizures. They flew him to Charleston, SC to MUSC Children’s Hospital. But in 2 days there was nothing they could do. It was the worst experience of my life. I had heard of whooping cough but thought it was an old disease that wasn’t around anymore. When my wife went back to her OB for her 6 month check-up she told him what had happened. He was shocked, another child that was born around the same time had been hospitalized for the same thing. That child survived. I wondered if he was diagnosed properly if that outcome would had been different. It is really hard sometimes, my nephew was born a couple of weeks after my son Dillon. I see him and it really hurts sometimes. My son would have been 14 years old this April. I missed out on so much. People really need to know that this deadly disease is still out there and can affect their young babies.

    Like

  13. Julie Pardue
    January 31, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    So sorry for your loss. I can only pray you guys are ok. My son was 11 years old and I had to work at a shelter and he went with me. It was a shelter for sick and elderly. He contracted Pertussus there and was sick for 9 months and was on 13 different meds. He coughed so profusely I thought he would die. He did overcome it with a very weakened immune system which allowed him to soon catch Menegitis, which he overcame also. I have spent a lot of time spreading the word on two things, immunize your children and don’t ever let them around sick ppl. My son only received one dose of the P part at 2 mo. Old. He had fever of 104 and convulsions so next shots at 4,6, & 12, he only was allowed to have the DT part of the shot and never got any more Pertussus vaccine. It was god and that one little dose that saved him. My son is now 29 yrs old and has suffered for years since them with a Weakened immune system and has been sick a lot with bronchitis and flu. It made his lungs very weak. It is so important to vaccine all children so they won’t die or suffer like our children has. First two months are critical not to let your child around sick ppl. Or many ppl at all. My heart goes out to you all and If there is any way I can help spread the word in my county about the importance of this vaccine, I’m on board. I’m so sorry for the loss of your lil boy. Words can’t describe how I feel my son survived this horrible disease. God has a plan for him I know. God Bless.

    Like

  14. Lora Parisi
    January 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    My youngest son received the DPT shots according to schedule..we found after the 1st that he was allergic to the pertussis and they did not give to him again. When he was 4 he was sick with a cold and cough…dr’s said just a cold…it took many, many trips to the Dr. before one of the old time dr.’s in the practice listened to his cough, really listened and looked at his chart and realized he had whooping cough. I tell new parents this story all the time, fortunately he was older with a fully developed immune system. I read this story with chills and tears. Thoughts and prayers to you and your family…immunization is so very important.

    Like

  15. Jasmine
    January 31, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Jasmine Maguire What a tragic thing. Makes me even more sad to know that there has been a cure for whooping cough that has been ” swept under the rug”. Its too bad no one stands to make a profit from vitamin C., or many lives might have been saved. this article gives credence and a very preliminary understanding to the warped state of our current medical community. It briefly discusses Dr. Claus Washington Jungeblut and his findings on curing many vaccine treated diseases. It also briefly touches on the creator of vaccines and his own claims that vaccinations were actually causing the disease that it was vaccinating against! You can take this preliminary information and do continued research to further corroborate: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v09n16.shtml

    Like

  16. Jasmine
    January 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    In JAPAN in 1975, about 37 Crib Sudden Deaths were linked to vaccination in Japan. Doctors in one prefecture boycotted vaccinations, and refused to vaccinate. The Japanese government paid attention and stopped vaccinating children below the age of two years. When immunization was delayed until a child was 24 months of age, Sudden Infant Death cases and claims for vaccine related deaths disappeared. Japan zoomed from a high 17th place in infant mortality rate to the lowest infant mortality rate in the world when they stopped vaccinating. Japan didn’t vaccinate any children below the age of two years between 1975 and 1988, for thirteen years. But then in 1988, Japanese parents were given the choice to start vaccinating anywhere between three months and 48 months. The Ministry study group studied 2,720 SIDS cases occurring between 1980 and 1992 and they established that their very low SIDS rate quadrupled.
    http://www.whale.to/vaccine/scheibner9.html

    Like

  17. Jasmine
    January 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    The science behind the vaccine: what do we know?
    http://vaccineliberationarmy.com/…/gary-null…/

    Like

  18. Jasmine
    January 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Now enter Dr. Kenner who agonized that his contemporaries in prominent positions would not heed his research on the curing of vaccine treated diseases despite hefty research backing his claims. http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2005/09/14/the_stonewalling_of_vitamin_c.htm

    Like

  19. Gray Falcon
    January 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    Just so you know, whale.to also carries the entire text of “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. In other words, not a reliable source.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Whale.to

    Like

  20. Christine Vara
    January 31, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Jasmine, With all do respect, this family has endured great sorrow at the hands of a disease that we do have a vaccine for. To make statements about Vit C being a “cure” for whooping cough, to distract the conversation with a discussion about SIDS, and to go off topic about Dr. Kenner and the Vaccine Liberation Army is rather disrespectful. We ask that out of courtesy for this family that you refrain from commenting further on this thread.

    Like

  21. Kelsey Rose
    January 31, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    But vitamin-C has saved the lives of many infants with pertussis. I do not think it is disrespectful to teach people this so, if their child gets it, they can ask that it be used as a treatment. Preventing the deaths of other beautiful babies is not disrespectful to Brady.

    Like

  22. Lawrence
    January 31, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    @Kelsey – there is no evidence that Vitamin C does anything….so bringing it up here is being disrespectful to the family and “blaming the victim” as well.

    You are horrid.

    Like

  23. dhongi
    January 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    See ‘chicken pox party’ starting at comment 667 to see how vara, sop, et al, refuse compassion when the victims are vax fatalities or injuries. You are the horrid ones, and this also applies to dingo and nk on several more of your blatantly exploitative articles.

    Like

  24. Gray Falcon
    January 31, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    @dhongi- Do not show disrepect for the dead.

    Like

  25. Christine Vara
    January 31, 2014 at 10:06 pm

    @dhongi, I have never expressed anything but compassion for a victim of vaccine injury and to say otherwise is a complete lie. I openly acknowledge that vaccines, like any medical intervention, do come with a very minor amount of risk, but that is why so many people work hard to ensure that there are systems in place to continually monitor vaccine safety, reduce the risk of adverse events and compensate anyone who may have been injured. On the other hand, what you are doing here is simply trying to throw a little mud in an effort to discredit this site and those who comment here. Well all you need to do is read a few comments above to see how compassionate people are. This story really hits a nerve because a little baby died from a disease that we work hard to try to prevent. And because of this story and others like it, people will continue to protect themselves and their babies by educating others about the importance of vaccinations for adults and pregnant women. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but once again I will ask that you refrain from commenting on this thread and accusing me and the blog admins of not having any compassion.

    Like

  26. dhongi
    January 31, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    All readers have to do is go back and see how you refused to retract malicious comments your regular posters used to publically and hatefully vilify the mother of a vax injured child. When brought to your attention, and you were asked to RESPECTFULLY recant the hate speech, you did nothing to comfort or console this person, and only closed the comment section. Your compassion here is severely biased, and it don’t take no rocket scientist to see how perversely prejudicial your site becomes, when the stories are about those injured or killed by a vax reaction.

    Like

  27. Lawrence
    January 31, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    @dhongi – because no proof was ever offered (even when asked respectfully) that said incident was actually the result of a vaccine….

    Now, for the respect of the child who did pass away from a vaccine-preventable disease, please desist from commenting here.

    Like

  28. novalox
    January 31, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    @dhongi

    Please, if you are going to pick nonsense fights, do it somewhere else, not at a page for a child who has died.

    Like

  29. dhongi
    January 31, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    To Kathy and family; please accept my most sincere condolences on the loss of your beautiful baby boy Brady. There are just no words that eases the pain one endures, when our children are taken before us. As other commenters have offered, your heartfelt and brave story will help others, so thank you for sharing.

    Like

  30. January 31, 2014 at 11:44 pm

    I believe these latest heartless folks that are promoting Vitamin C and victim blaming are exhibiting something I call “Parker style typing.” That reflects the habits of an often banned person who does not use paragraphs, who makes lots of claims and baseless accusations.

    Their comments should be heavily moderated.

    Like

  31. lilady
    February 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Much thanks to Brady’s family for sharing his story.

    I have to agree with Chris that “Parker style typing” is at work here…and especially cruel when the parents of a young infant whose child died from pertussis, are targeted.

    Like

  32. Patricia donovan
    February 3, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    To Brady,s family:
    Thank you for sharing your story. It must have been very difficult for you to relive your nightmare, but thanks to you, many people who are in the company of babies, will get vaccinated. I am the grandmother of three. Had I known about this threat, I would have taken the necessary precaution. From now on, I will tell everyone who will be in the company of newborns, to get vaccinated. God bless you for sharing. You will probably save many other families from experiencing the unbearable loss of a child.

    Like

  33. Chris
    February 4, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Thank you so much Ms. Donovan. My son had several problems after his birth, including seizures. While very stressful, it was not the level of Brady’s parents.

    (Stress level…. when the elevator opens at the “Intensive Infant Care Unit” floor of the children’s hospital the first thing you see is a lobby full of sleeping bags full of very tired and stressed parents. The only difference between that and the “Intermediate Infant Care Unit” was that the parents could go either go home or their hotel room to sleep, since death was not quite so predominate in the prediction… My son was switched from “intensive” to “Intermediate” unit in less than a day, Yay. He still had several needles and tubes attached to his teeny tiny body.).

    I worked very hard his first year to keep him protected, including asking every parent of a child he was in contact with if they had been vaccinated. He was denied protection from pertussis due to scaremongering about the DTP vaccine in the 1980s, which also caused a pertussis epidemic in our county. Le sigh.

    My son also has a genetic heart condition, which also makes him vulnerable to disease injury. I do make sure he gets all the required vaccinations,including his first pertussis vaccine in a Tdap when he was an adult, but they are not perfect. What works best is if the diseases do not have a chance to circulate by having as many as possible get a vaccine!.

    Like

  1. January 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm
  2. February 3, 2014 at 9:44 am

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