“As a mother and a nurse, I was vigilant in getting my children all their recommended vaccinations, including meningococcal vaccination. I was under the common misconception, as many parents are, that the meningococcal vaccine that my daughter received would fully protect her from meningococcal disease, when in fact, it didn’t protect her against meningitis B. Meningitis B outbreaks have recently occurred on several college campuses and the disease can kill a healthy person within 24 hours. When my daughter Kimberly Coffey died from meningitis B in 2012, she was a perfectly healthy 17-year-old high school senior. The meningitis B vaccine was not available to protect her at the time, but it is available in the U.S. now. As a mother who lives every day with the heartache of not seeing my beautiful daughter live the full life she deserved, I want parents to know that without specifically requesting MenB vaccination, in addition to the common meningococcal vaccine (MCV4), your child will not be fully protected against meningococcal disease.” Patti Wukovits, Founder of the Kimberly Coffey Foundation
“February 2, 2013 my life changed forever. I was told my beautiful and healthy nineteen year old daughter no longer had any brain activity, and that she would die. Those words will forever haunt me. There is no preparation, no training, and no practice for what was to come. The loss of a child is like none other. It is the wrong order. When you lose a child, a piece of you dies as well.”
Alicia Stillman, Director of the Emily Stillman Foundation, writes about the loss of her daughter Emily to bacterial meningitis. One of the missions of the Foundation is to raise awareness of meningococcal disease and the various vaccines that are now available to prevent it.
Ryan Milley was 18 years old when he developed a fever and earache on Father’s Day. During the early morning hours, Ryan entered his parent’s room. He was weak, and in the dim light his mother noticed a rash on his stomach and could literally see blood vessels rupturing all over his body. After 25 years in the medical profession, Frankie Milley knew that her son had meningitis.
Luke Duvall, a healthy, athletic 15-year-old, was exhausted on the evening of October 2, 2009 but geared up and played in his high school football game anyway. The next day he awoke feeling worse, and within four days was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. What followed was an ordeal that included being medevacked to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, put on a ventilator, and being put into an induced coma.