Parents’ fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son

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Auckland parents Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed choice not to vaccinate their children, but after their son ended up in intensive care with a tetanus infection they realised they had made a terrible mistake.


"The mistake that we made was that we underestimated the diseases and we totally over-estimated the adverse reactions", says father Ian Williams, who is speaking publicly of his family's ordeal in an effort to warn other parents about the dangers of not immunising their children.

Minor cut, major infection

It started when seven-year-old Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot in December 2012.

"Of course we didn't think it was too serious, it was just a little cut but a couple of days later he started getting symptoms like a stroke on the side of his face," Mr Williams says.

"A couple of days later during the night he started to get cramps across his face. His face would contort and he was in a lot of pain."

After 24 hours in Auckland's Starship Children's hospital, the doctors diagnosed Alijah with tetanus, and he was taken to intensive care.

Mr Williams recalls his son's agony, "It's a terrible thing… Your whole body arches, your arms go up in the air."

"It's like getting cramp but it's everywhere, across the face as well. They are so tight your jaw locks."

Written By: Emma Wynne
continue to source article at abc.net.au

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  1. Oh lord that port kid. Does anyone know if he will be ok? I don’t know the prognosis for tetanus. At least his folks are finally coming out on the side of reason, it’s just sad that it took this. Hopefully other doubting parents will read this and reconsider.

    • In reply to #1 by BigDyTerminator:

      Oh lord that port kid. Does anyone know if he will be ok? I don’t know the prognosis for tetanus. At least his folks are finally coming out on the side of reason, it’s just sad that it took this. Hopefully other doubting parents will read this and reconsider.

      The story of short incubation, onset within 48 hours of getting cut along with the mention of a 10% mortality points to moderate tetanus. However, the stroke-like description sounds like cephalic (cranial) tetanus which is always considered at least severe (link to emedicine). He’s probably still got floppy muscles from the residual toxin effect along with the detraining of 3 weeks sedation. He has an excellent chance of getting back to baseline with time, good physio and a bit of luck.

      Actually, I think 10% chance of death is a rather undercooked figure given the cranial nerve symptoms and that you are more likely to die if you have never been immunised than if you completed the primary immunisations – given modern ventilation prevents suffocation, it’s usually toxin-induced heart attack that gets you. This kid was extremely lucky.

      • Thank you for all the information! I only found this group a few weeks ago and I am struck by the intelligence and expertise of the commenters.
        I will happily add, in case you are a Dr. that my own son is vaccinated against tetanus and all else.

        In reply to #12 by Docjitters:

        In reply to #1 by BigDyTerminator:

        Oh lord that port kid. Does anyone know if he will be ok? I don’t know the prognosis for tetanus. At least his folks are finally coming out on the side of reason, it’s just sad that it took this. Hopefully other doubting parents will read this and reconsider.

        Th…

        • In reply to #13 by BigDyTerminator:

          Thank you for all the information! I only found this group a few weeks ago and I am struck by the intelligence and expertise of the commenters.
          I will happily add, in case you are a Dr. that my own son is vaccinated against tetanus and all else.

          You’re very welcome :) Welcome to the forum. You’ll come across some far more intelligent commentators than I in your time here. Giving the odd reference is easy! And doctor or not, I have no personal or professional stake in your child’s health – all of us here I’m sure would only wish you to apply the evidence and think critically for its own sake – the well-being of those around us is a nice consequence :)

  2. Part of me wants to rip these people a new arsehole for their stupidity. I will not because they have learned, at enormous personal pain, just how stupid they were.

    Instead I hope they now become the new poster people for the pro-vaccination lobby in the antipodes, living proof that the anti-vaccs are deluded and dangerous to children. That way they may one day be able to forgive themselves for the pain they caused their child.

  3. Child abuse. Take the child into care so he suffers no more at the hands of his fuckwit, imbecile, idiotic parents.

    Sorry SomersetJohn, I wish I could share your forgiving nature on this one. But if a parent hits a child causing serious injury, these days they don’t get a second chance. This was a serious injury – and wholly avoidable.

    • In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

      Child abuse. Take the child into care so he suffers no more at the hands of his fuckwit, imbecile, idiotic parents.

      Sorry SomersetJohn, I wish I could share your forgiving nature on this one. But if a parent hits a child causing serious injury, these days they don’t get a second chance. This was…

      Some of the comments on this page are just so mean, so nasty, I despair of the world ever becoming a more loving place.

  4. Aaargh. While I think the anti-vac people are stupid/nuts, I can understand, (a little) the confusion of parents re MMR, etc. if they were researching the many website, BUT….. I, like most of us, had all my vaccinations, including both polio vaccines, etc., and I’m alive and healthy today. But skippingTENTANUS vaccinations? How many of us as children were warned about “rusty nails” and “puncture wounds.” Tetanus shots are good for 9-10 years, but I have a horse, and because of that, my doctor keeps especially close tabs (as do I) on how current my tetanus vaccination is. That poor child!! I am amazed he has survived and hope there is no permanent damage. Would they skip rabies treatment if their child was bitten because of possible side effects from the vaccine?!?!?

  5. It started when seven-year-old Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot in December 2012.

    “Of course we didn’t think it was too serious, it was just a little cut but a couple of days later he started getting symptoms like a stroke on the side of his face,” Mr Williams says.

    Sorry to say, those parents are incompetent. I grew up in Germany, and every parent with a functioning brain in the 50′s and 60′s new to vaccinate their children when it injured itself playing outside, and to repeat that vaccination every 5 years.
    For the sake of their prospective children – some parents should only have intercourse with proper protection to avoid insemination.

    • In reply to #8 by kraut:

      Sorry to say, those parents are incompetent. I grew up in Germany, and every parent with a functioning brain in the 50′s and 60′s new to vaccinate their children when it injured itself playing outside, and to repeat that vaccination every 5 years. For the sake of their prospective children – some parents should only have intercourse with proper protection to avoid insemination.

      The sad irony is that anti-vacsers underestimate the seriousness of such diseases because of the effectiveness of vaccination. They didn’t grow up in a world where tetanus was common so they don’t fear for their children.

  6. A wonderful example of the egregious bullshit spouted by anti- vax ill educated cranks.
    Tetanus vaccine is very,very effective!
    This kind of crap should be punished instead of controversial tweets ; especially if related to so called religious blasphemy.

    • In reply to #14 by F_Ellatio:

      This is evolution at it’s finest. Elimating the genes of stupid antivaxers from our gene pool.

      This crap joke needs to stop. Memes ain’t genes. The kid wasn’t an anti-vaxer, nor possibly his grandparents. Genetic essentialism is what needs to die out. Anyone can learn. Anyone can change their mind.

      • .

        In reply to #15 by phil rimmer:

        I wasn’t joking. Are you denying that people who don’t vax their kids will contribute fewer genes to the human gene pool over the long haul? I say good riddance to those genes.

        In reply to #14 by F_Ellatio:

        This is evolution at it’s finest. Elimating the genes of stupid antivaxers from our gene pool.

        This crap joke needs to stop. Memes ain’t genes. The kid wasn’t an anti-vaxer, nor possibly his grandparents. Genetic essentialism is what needs to die out. Anyone can lear…

        • In reply to #18 by F_Ellatio:

          .

          In reply to #15 by phil rimmer:

          I wasn’t joking. Are you denying that people who don’t vax their kids will contribute fewer genes to the human gene pool over the long haul? I say good riddance to those genes.

          In reply to #14 by F_Ellatio:

          This is evolution at it’s finest. Elimating the genes…

          You can allow kids to die if you want. Should anyone find the gene responsible for anti-vax behaviour let us know….

          • In reply to #19 by phil rimmer:

            In reply to #18 by F_Ellatio:
            The Chinese have already identified several genes related to intelligence which they now use to select the smartest of several embryos.

            In reply to #15 by phil rimmer:

            I wasn’t joking. Are you denying that people who don’t vax their kids will contribute fewer genes to the human gene pool over the long haul? I say good riddance to those genes.

            In reply to #14 by F_Ellatio:

            This is evolution at it…

  7. In reply to #20 by mmurray:

    We covered this already in December of last year.

    Michael

    This is a little old as is acknowledged in the story-

    “There has actually been a small percentage increase in New Zealand’s vaccination rates [since the story was published in January].”

    and it is a worthy attempt to leverage a little more vaxxing from an ongoing news story. His folks are still paying their dues…..which is good.

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