A Brisbane mum has shared a heart-wrenching video of her whooping cough-infected four-month-old fighting for breath, in a bid to get other parents to vaccinate their children. It’s a difficult video to watch, but Rebecca Harreman hopes it will be enough to convince anti-vaxxers to immunise against the potential deadly infection.
The video shows what Rebecca Harreman describes as a “good coughing fit”, saying her son has been fighting the infection for 23 days.
She comments on the video, “I’m tired. Damn tired. I’ve been on duty for over three 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.”
Rebecca says this particular episode doesn’t last long enough to be labelled a coughing fit, saying, “(It’s) nothing compared to watching him turn blue from coughing for so long and so much he can’t take a single breath”.
She continues, “Imagine that in a tiny newborn baby. Can you imagine?! The doctors said he has his age and size and his first vaccination on his side to be able to fight this because there is no real way to treat it – you can only try and get some oxygen in them – that is if they breathe it in… and they have to do that all on their own.”
Rebecca asks that the video be shared to raise awareness “not nonsense”.
“I don’t care whether you want to try and prove to me that vaccinations and herd immunities don’t work. I don’t care that vaccinations have side effects, because every person in this world reacts differently to all types of food, products and medicines. I could not care less, even if it is ever proven one day that they don’t work. You know why? Because at least 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.”
Rebecca says that after uploading the video, she was overwhelmed with messages of “love and support”, as well those telling her she’s wrong.
“But since some anti-vaxxers seem to feel they can share and say anything they want, even if it is unreliable, and I’m not allowed to have my say or share my own personal experience… well then I say bring it! No more turning a blind eye and not sharing opinions for fear it will upset someone else. It’s called freedom of speech. If they can say what they want, then so can I.”
Queensland Health has issued a whooping cough alert for Brisbane, citing an increase in the number of cases, including babies.