After five years and four miscarriages, Katie and Craig Van Tornhout celebrated the birth of their daughter Callie. Although she arrived a few weeks early, she was truly their miracle baby. But their joy quickly turned to grief when a disease called pertussis, also known as whooping cough, claimed her life at just 38 days old.
“To an adult, pertussis can seem like just a stubborn cough, but to Callie and other newborns who are too young to be immunized, it can be deadly because they aren’t able to fight it off. In an infant, it’s likely that this disease can result in respiratory failure. IV tubes or ventilators may be needed to help a baby breathe and they are in danger of having their lungs shut down. As a mother, I can’t tell you how heartbreaking this is to watch.”
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