Timehop Brings Back Pertussis Memories Too Painful to Forget
When the Timehop app was introduced to Facebook not everyone was thrilled. While most people loved being reminded of photos and updates shared on Facebook in years past, others complained that there were some events they would prefer not to be reminded of; the loss of a job, the details of a difficult divorce, or the pain of losing someone we love.
Almost three years ago, shortly after Jonathan and Kathryn lost their infant son Brady to pertussis, they reached out to Every Child By Two and expressed an interest in advocating for pertussis vaccinations. They hoped that by sharing their son’s story they could help educate people on the dangers of pertussis and the importance of vaccination, especially in preventing exposure among children, like Brady, who are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
Being tasked to help them write their story was a challenge. How could I ever hope to do it justice?
Then it occurred to me… Kathryn had been recording Brady’s story all along as she continuously updated her friends and family of his condition on Facebook. I read her posts and could immediately empathize with the emotional roller coaster they were on. The hope. The fear. The unimaginable sorrow of watching their beautiful baby suffer, and ultimately lose his life as a result of a preventable disease.
Brady’s story was originally shared here on Shot of Prevention. We then worked to also get it posted to a site called Shot By Shot, which serves as a virtual library of personal stories of vaccine preventable diseases. From there, Brady’s story went viral.
Today we honor all our Every Child By Two parent advocates who continue to help us raise pertussis vaccine awareness. This day not only marks Brady’s third angel-versary, but also the fifth angel-versary of Carter Dube, and later this week the fifth angel-versary of Callie Van Tornhout.
While Timehop may be reminding you of a fun winter outing, a delicious dinner shared among friends, or an exciting new promotion, Brady’s mom Kathryn has been using Timehop with Facebook to remind us of how precious life is. Brady may not be here with us physically, but his battle was not entirely lost. Brady continues to fight today, as his family and friends share his story, in hopes that no more children are lost to pertussis.