I read with interest the Viewpoint by Maude Wilson, Rienna Russo and Lily Wilson in the January 16 editions [“School Board’s Letter Dismisses Real Science”], because it brought back horrific memories of a terrible illness, which occurred many years ago in my family.
I know that many people have extremely strong views against vaccines, but, along with the three women mentioned above, I must tell the readership why I am for them.
We were living in New York City in November 1973 when our middle son, who had been frolicking happily in a playground a few hours previously, at 6 p.m. developed a very high fever and began having difficulty breathing, retracting his chest with every try. I called our pediatrician, and she said to take him into a steamed-up shower. He got no better, and repeated calls to that doctor resulted in the same advice.
Finally, our son stopped breathing.
Somehow, my husband got him breathing again, and then we rushed him to the Emergency Room at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where a tracheostomy was immediately performed by a pediatric surgeon. We were told that our son had a Beta Haemophilus infection throughout his body, and that he would probably not survive. He was put into Intensive Care, and we sat by his bedside day and night, praying for a miracle.
Our prayers were answered, and three weeks later the trach was removed and we took him home. He quickly resumed his activities as a toddler and has gone on to lead an active life.
We, of course, changed pediatricians, and our new one told us that in 1989 there was now a vaccine against Hib meningitis, which had been discovered by Dr. John B. Robbins, with the collaboration of Dr. Rachel Schneerson. The disease has largely become a part of medical history.
We applaud the efforts of Dr. Robbins, who died recently. If his vaccine had been available in 1973, we would never have the nightmares we still get from our son’s disease.
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One fine body…