“That’s me, posing proudly after getting my flu shot this week. I promised my daughter I would take a picture so she wouldn’t be nervous when it was time for her to get hers. The flu shot is a big deal in our household… and here’s why:
I didn’t think much of the vaccination debate until I had a medically fragile child. My lone surviving triplet came home from the hospital at 4 months old after being born at 22 weeks gestation. It was the beginning of the flu season and our nerves were running high. She was hooked up to oxygen, with extremely weak lungs and immune system.
One bad germ and she could die. Let that sink in.
While most parents are worrying about why their baby is crying or why they can’t get any sleep, I was worrying about keeping my child safe. We had already lost two of our triplets, I couldn’t fathom the thought of anything happening to her. We had hand sanitizer throughout our home and we didn’t allow anyone inside unless they were vaccinated. We kept a sign on the door warning others that we had a medially fragile baby in our home.
Some people probably thought we were crazy, but we were perfectly fine living in a bubble…doctor’s orders. What some people don’t understand is that a sneeze or cough could lead to so much more. Those germs might cause a simple cold for a typical baby or adult. But for a child with a weakened immune system, it could lead to hospitalization, or even worse, death.
We saw it first hand a year after Peyton came home. A little cold turned into a terrifying 8-day hospital stay. And that’s why we are so adamant about getting the flu shot.
These days, my surviving triplet is healthy. Her immune system is stronger than ever. And we still get vaccinated. The flu kills adults. It kills healthy children. I’ve gone through the loss of two children. There is no reason I would ever risk my survivor getting sick, especially if there is something out there that could possibly help prevent it.
I know vaccinating a child is a hot topic. And every parent has his or her own beliefs. I’m simply sharing why I proudly wear my band aid. My daughter’s life has been on the line too many times and I will do everything I can to keep her healthy. It’s not just about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting others.”
This story was written by Stacey Skrysak, an award winning television journalist based in Illinois. You can follow her on Facebook. Submit your own story here, and subscribe to our best stories in our free newsletter here.
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