Alison Gaylard

This was written approx. 2.30am on the worse night of my life.

A night I will never forget.

I was so angry I just typed and typed all the emotion out of me.

This is the umpteenth night now I gave been up with my two children aged 2 and a half and almost six.


They have whooping cough.

I can’t do anything to help. I can’t give them anything to help all I can do is watch them spasmodically cough eyes bulging and watering and rolling. Veins popping out on their fragile skin. Vomiting from coughing so much. Lips turning blue.

All the while I am calmly telling them this will pass while holding their aching and exhausted bodies not sure if I am reassuring them or myself more.

As one settles into a disturbed broken sleep the others breathing becomes laboured. You know the cough is on its way. There it is the big WHOOP. You are pleading to their airways to open up and let them inhale again please.

The three of us are camped out on my bed. I need to know they are near and that I am near them for each attack that comes. There is nothing of my near six years old. She is all limbs and no protective puppy fat. She’s stretched. Not much appeals in the way of food but water and milk and apple juice are good. My 2.5 year old is made of strong stuff but I can see the effect this is having on her.

How on earth do these little babies cope? How do their parents cope? Some don’t. This avoidable disease takes them to places they do not want to be and some never return. I still lie awake when they are fitfully sleeping telling myself that they are going to be ok. They won’t suffer broken ribs, brain damage and hernias. I’m exhausted. But it’s not about me. It’s about my two gorgeous girls.

My two gorgeous girls that I decided would be immunised from birth and onwards. I wanted to protect them the best I could. Yes I did read research and articles from both camps. I didn’t realise though that once my choice was made the impact the other people’s choice would have on me, and my family.

I am angry now. Angry that I am still exposing my children to these avoidable meaningless diseases because some people choose to not vaccinate their children.

I don’t have any medical background so I’m not qualified to give an opinion either way and it seems that most other people opposed to vaccinating and providing herd immunity aren’t either.

I’m so angry that I feel like telling everyone that ok you don’t want to vaccinate then please go and live somewhere nowhere near me and look after yourselves altogether and keep these pointless and unnecessary diseases to yourselves and deal with them in whatever way you’ve chosen as you’ve not chosen to vaccinate.

Ok you don’t want to immunise your children but why not go and get yourself done as according to doctors I have spoken to, it is people over the age of 12 that seem to be passing it on, as their immunity has waned from either having the disease or vaccination.

You’ve chosen to not vaccinate but try to imagine how you would or will feel when you, like me, are sitting for countless days and nights watching and waiting for the next heart stopping, lung stopping moment when you see your precious child suffering.

Now I know this may spark something in someone to write and tell me about what goes into these vaccines or the damage I’m doing by giving them.

That’s not the reason I’ve written this. I am not writing this to spark debate even.

I just want to let you know. As a parent. Watching. Suffering heartache and watching their child suffer, so unnecessarily.

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