Parents regret not vaccinating the son after illness

Son’s ordeal was our fault, say parents.

A boy who almost died of tetanus before Christmas is home and on the mend, but his parents are desperate for others to vaccinate their children after they did not.

Auckland couple Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed decision against immunising their three children because of concerns over adverse reactions.

But they regretted their decision when middle child Alijah contracted the potentially fatal disease just before Christmas, and was put in an induced coma on life support at Starship hospital.

“Parents like us make the decision to not vaccinate on very little factual information about the actual consequences of the diseases – massive pain, disability and death – and a lot of non-factual, emotive information from the internet stating inflated figures on the frequency and severity of adverse reactions and conspiracy theories about ‘evil’ doctors, governments and drug companies.”

He was discharged in a wheelchair on January 8 after 26 days in hospital. He faces a 12-month recovery including having to learn to eat and walk again.

The parents have now vaccinated all their children in order to prevent this sort of ordeal from happening again. They seem to have learned their lesson. Stories like this need to be shared. It’s not fair to put your child through a life-threatening illness because you counted on misinformation that was at odds with what medical professionals advise.