We lost (our) little girl, Aleena, 3 years ago to Myocarditis due to Influenza. (Myocarditis) is an inflammation of the heart muscle from varying causes, but our case it was from the flu virus.
Aleena did not have the flu vaccine; like a lot of parents we had naively assumed “it could never happen to us”; “we always wash our hands”; etc. etc. But the reality is that you cannot control what contact your child has 24/7.
Because of the choices we made as parents we now spend every November 18th at the cemetery, celebrating (I use that word loosely) the birthday of a little girl who will never be there blow out those candles.
I get messages all the time from people who are against the vaccine, who also send me unfounded links of articles preaching the perils of the flu shot. To this I say, it’s a free country and you’re free to put what you choose in your body.
But as parents we have a duty to protect and give our children any advantage against dangers in this world. If those parents are prepared to spend every birthday at a cemetery or every Christmas without watching the (excitement) of children opening presents, then by all means forego the vaccine. But you must be prepared for the repercussions of your decisions and live with that.
I now have to live with the fact that Aleena’s autopsy found the strain of virus, was one the vaccine prevented that year. Aleena Lynn Khatib 11/18/2011 – 03/09/2016” Written by Aleena’s father, Tarek Khatib, Lucan, Ontario
Laura Brennan was diagnosed with terminal cervical cancer in 2016. Following her diagnosis, she worked tirelessly to help others avoid this devastating disease by telling her story and spreading the facts about HPV and the vaccine that can prevent it.
Laura passed away in March 2019 at age 26, but her message lives on.
Vaccination is one of the ten greatest Public Health achievements of the 20th century. It is also the best and most cost-effective strategy in the prevention of certain diseases. Today’s vaccines are very safe and effective. Many myths about vaccine safety exist, but parents can be assured that having their children immunized is the right decision!
Ministry of Health and Long Term Care – General Immunization Information
Public Health Agency of Canada – Frequently Asked Questions
Immunization of School Pupil's Act Parent Information
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