One of the things every new mom fears when they hear their newborn cough is that it's the dreaded whooping cough that the pediatricians (and those scary PSAs) warned them about. For new mom Rebecca Harreman, this fear has become an actual nightmare. Her 4-month-old son Austin has been fighting a nasty bout of whooping cough for the better part of a month. And now she wants to the world to know about it.
Exhausted and worried, Harreman is sick and tired of hearing parents' excuses for why they don't vaccinate their child when the potential result could be what her son is suffering through right now. In an effort to increase awareness about pertussis (aka whooping cough) and the benefits of vaccinations, the Australian mom posted a hard-to-watch video of little Austin struggling to breathe and gasping for air.
She writes, "I've been on duty for over 3 weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing. Every. Single. Time. I cannot and will not pass that duty to anyone else, because I just can't sleep. So for those of you sitting on the fence on whether to vaccinate yourself and your kids or not ... maybe this video will convince you."
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, pertussis is spread from person to person through bodily secretions from sneezing or coughing. And babies are at the greatest risk of complications if they catch it. The CDC states that 1 out of every 100 babies that goes into the hospital for whooping cough treatment dies. In 2014, there were 33,000 cases of reported whooping cough.
In the U.S., babies are recommended to get the first dose of the pertussis vaccine at two months of age. And any adults that are going to be around the newborn should also be vaccinated. Baby Austin had already received the first dose of his TDAP vaccine.
Harreman continues, "At the end of the day, I tried to do something to prevent this and not sit there and say 'Oh, well, vaccinations don't work so I'll just sit here and do nothing' ... because doing nothing goes against every cell in my body as a mother. Doing nothing is just wrong."
The video has been viewed over a million times and has been shared over 26,000 times, so we'd definitely say this mom's mission has accomplished something big.