Home > Parents speak out, Pertussis > Parents Speak Out – Aleshya Garner

Parents Speak Out – Aleshya Garner


I first read Aleshya’s, and her son’s Peyton, story at Dana McCaffery’s Facebook page. What happened to Peyton and Aleshya, highlights the importance not only of vaccinating children and adults, but also the importance of adult booster shots, disseminating the right information to parents, but even more importantly that doctors themselves need to be more aware and vigilant about this disease. Words cannot describe how important her questions and her plea for awareness and action are.  I contacted Aleshya and asked for permission to share their, fortunately, happy-ending story here at Vaccine Central. She gracefully agreed and without further ado, here is what happened in Aleshya’s own words (emphasis and links were added by me).

Peyton Garner

Hi, My name is Aleshya . My son, Peyton, is a Pertussis survivor. At only 6 weeks-old he developed the disease Pertussis, also known as  whooping-cough. This disease caused my son to suffer through severe coughing attacks, followed by the struggle to catch his breath, which caused him to turn purple due to low oxygen levels. During each attack, I listened to my son make these awful high-pitch noises, a sound that is typical of pertussis. As a new mother, the first sounds I expected to hear from my son were small coos and giggles, not the sound of him gasping for air. I worried with every cough: will he catch his breath? The only thing I could do is coach him through it, with a calm tone “please breathe Peyton, please breathe”, while watching him turn purple.

We are not sure how Peyton got the whooping-cough, but it could have been prevented had our family been made aware that adults, as well as children, need booster shots. Just one simple DTaP (Tdap for adults) shot could have possibly prevented Peyton, and our family, from going through this horrible experience.

Not only were we uneducated about pertussis, but it took three trips to the ER for the doctors to finally admit Peyton into the ICU at our local hospital. During one of trips to the ER, the doctor told us Peyton’s condition was caused by constipation so we were sent home. After receiving many wrong diagnoses, they finally ran a pertussis test on my son. The test took about 5 days to culture. My husband and I were told for five days, by many different doctors, that there was no way our son had pertussis, even though Peyton’s pediatrician suspected it. They were sure it was the flu. The pertussis test came back positive.

I was told that, because the hospital staff did not take proper precautions with Peyton’s “possible” pertussis, every one in every department that he came in contact with was required to take antibiotics, after the pertussis was confirmed.

Peyton was discharged from the hospital after 7 days on October 25th, 2009. At that time, he was only 2 weeks into his pertussis infection, which can last for several weeks, or even months. Each day he got a little bit better; his attacks were not as frequent as they were in the beginning, but still just as severe. More and more cases of pertussis appear each day, a disease that we once just about wiped out is now coming back. As a new mother, I thought all I have to do is keep him safe from the flu…….boy was I wrong. Not in my wildest dreams, did I think that my healthy son would have to battle with such a (in most infant cases) fatal disease, at only six weeks old.

Why isn’t there more awareness out there about pertussis? Why aren’t we encouraged more to follow up on our booster shots to prevent another pertussis outbreak, to protect more babies like Peyton, to save children’s lives? To all new parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles, please from the bottom of my heart, get your booster shots. It is that important, and since there is little awareness, help spread the word about pertussis. You may never know it, but it could save a baby’s life.

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  1. Elizabeth
    August 19, 2010 at 3:01 AM

    Vaccines don’t work.

    • Skepdude
      August 19, 2010 at 10:51 AM

      Well that well laid out argument settles it; I guess all that’s left for me to do is close up shop and go home now.

  2. Erwin Alber
    September 26, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    Vaccination is an organised criminal enterprise dressed up as disease prevention. Vaccines have never prevented a thing – apart from health, sanity and common sense.
    Like other vaccines, the whooping cough vaccine is completely useless. In fact, it is mostly vaccinated children who act as reservoirs for whooping cough and infect other people.

    http://www.thinktwice.com

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vaccination-Information-Network-VINE/69667273997

  3. Cat
    December 30, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    I had the experience of 6 children enduring whooping cough. All 6 are fine and healthy today. It was extremely difficult, and I hated it, yet I would still not vaccinate. The sane reason is this. What they do NOT tell people, is the horrible, irreversible damage to your child’s cells are done, by the vaccine’s additives. The vaccines the vaccine companies are creating do not just contain the components of the disease in killed or live form. It is absolutely horrible that the only alternative to the threat of childhood diseases, are polluted vaccines filled with such unnatural and absolutely deadly substances as formaldehyde, rubber, thimerosal [mercury derivative; read up on it], phenol/phenoxynethonol, and polysorbate 80 [T ween 80]. Many thousands, and only the good Lord knows how many babies have died from the actual vaccinations from this, and countless autism from this vaccine. Many, many mothers suffer daily for the rest of their child’s life with the effects of autism, stemming directly from vaccine damage. My children were all treated at home with herbal antibiotic, and also the drug erythromycin. Few mothers today know anything about building up their children’s immunity, and allow candy, sodas, etc. to dominate their children’s diet. They have not made keeping themselves and their families healthy, a priority. Mothers that take a deadly serious approach by daily diet choices, keeping their children out of public McDonald’s playgrounds, and unnecessary exposure in public, when infants, not to mention meticulous hygienic habits, would go a long way in preventing, and overcoming disease in America. Unfortunately, we have mothers that have little, if any knowledge, other than what popular medical “experts” tell them, and that leave themselves and their children open to illness and disease, by poor at home hygiene, and lack of knowledge and/wisdom in care of their children. One pet peeve I have is simple sanitation @ home & ignorance of the spreading of illness, is at an all time high today. SO many mothers and fathers take their babies, and or children out with a fever, or cold. People years ago believed in and adhered to quarantine for even what they considered “only” a cold. They did not let their children get overly tired, that were fighting colds, and stayed home, and carefully kept the child in out of drafts, and resting. Today, I see parents dragging coughing, choking and snotty nosed kids all around town, infecting other children, adults, and spreading the joy. How ignorant, and how inconsiderate. I am a single mother, and have been alone, and without help often, yet I try my hardest to keep my boys in when we have been sick, away from church, stores, etc. Having people help by going to the store for you, picking up meds or juice, water, vitamins is also important. I go out when I HAVE to, not to check out the sales, like I see many mothers do, as they have a child coughing violently in a cart, and some children so sick that my heart went out to them, while the ignorant, or uncaring mother continues on with her shopping, picking up all kinds of things that someone SURELY could be getting for her. They depend on doctors to fix them, after their children contract an illness, rather than taking an offensive stance, reading and researching outside of the known medical world. I know personally, mothers that had normal babies, and after vaccinations, watched their child deteriorate to the level of a vegetable. There is no way someone is going to convince me that the vaccinations are for me, or for everyone. I have been through too much, and learned enough to see that knee jerk reaction because someone lost a child, is not how I want to respond. Before you tell me how irresponsible someone is for NOT vaccinating, are you going to GUARANTEE my child won’t die from a reaction, or get brain damage or autism? I read from a company that produces the vaccine itself for pertussis. It said there is no guarantee you WON’T get it, even IF you vaccinate!! That is the truth of the matter. I know my knowledge of caring for my children at home, instead of running to the doctor for everything, caused me to gain knowledge that empowered me to help my children overcome very bad illnesses, and also, with the help of prayer, as our heavenly Father gives liberal wisdom and knowledge to all who ask. He has healed us many times, and I have seen the power of the plant world work wonders. Hydrastine comes from a natural plant, and I used it continually during our horrible bout with whooping cough. That and home made cough syrups, and a cough syrup with the sun dew plant provided incredible relief for the cough of pertussis. I also used raw garlic, which is a potent anti-biotic, and mega doses of vitamin ‘C’. My cough syrup was very potent, and much more effective than the drug laden cough syrup they give. Made up of cherry bark, anise, thyme, and marshmallow root, and slippery elm bark, it provided GREAT relief. Learn by reading herbals, and research! Doctors are not G_d!! I believe there is a time and place for them. Sometimes we wait too long. Sometimes we go to them for things that we should, and could take care of at home. You have to LEARN when you need a doctor. Read, read, read and pray a lot for wisdom. Don’t tell others they HAVE to vaccinate!!

  4. Dan
    January 9, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    Elizabeth, Erwin, Cat

    It is a rare thing that I succumb to the temptation of writing a comment on a website because someone has said something on the Internet that I strongly disagree with, but your comments have provoked me.

    Pertussis cases in infants has a fatality rate of up to 10%. Now take a minute to stop and think about that. 10% fatality rate. That means one in ten infants who contract pertussis die.

    This is a preventable disease that was previously under control and is now, sadly, on the rise. Why is it making such a dramatic comeback? Because people aren’t being immunised. It is that simple.

    This post to which you are all commenting is the story of one little boy’s very lucky survival. Not one of you seems to have an iota of sympathy or empathy with the child or the parents. Rather you all seem intent on setting out your misinformed and misguided tin foil hat conspiracy theories on why vaccinations are bad. Shocking. Absolutely shocking.

    Each of your posts is equally flawed and demonstrates a dangerous and cavalier approach to health care and preventative medicine. The studies you rely on, the theories that you take as fact, the woolly thinking and the pseudo-scientific claptrap that you propound is dangerous stuff. It can kill.

    Honestly, I read your comments and I almost despair for the future of the human race.

    Almost.

    For anyone else out there who is reading this, I would strongly urge you to get yourselves immunised with dtap, ensure that your children’s immunisations are up to date and to ignore the comments by Elizabeth, Erwin and Cat.

    They may mean well, but their attitudes to vaccinations and health care in general strikes me as downright dangerous.

  5. July 7, 2011 at 9:08 AM

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  1. August 26, 2010 at 12:22 AM

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