We Want to Spread Holiday Cheer, Not The Flu This Year!
It’s that time of year again! Time to gather with loved ones during the holiday
season, but not before protecting yourself and your family. December 5th-9th is
National Influenza Vaccination Week and it’s important for me to share the
importance of vaccines and protecting yourself and your family. Before the
holiday season could even begin, my family and I experienced the scariest time
in our lives, and it’s my mission to share with as many people as I can, the
importance of protecting yourself with certain vaccines this holiday and winter
On Saturday October 15, 2022 I noticed that my then two week old newborn son,
Chancellor, had a slight cough and a few little sneezes here and there, but
nothing alarming. However later in the evening I noticed his cough became more
of a choke or gasping for air, but I continued to monitor him because I knew he
had a follow up doctors appointment on Monday. Sunday and Monday things
were pretty much the same, no major changes. I spoke with our pediatrician at
the appointment and she said to just continue to monitor him like I’ve been doing.
She also gave the normal recommendations of keeping his nose suctioned and
using saline solution in his nose if necessary. On the evening of Tuesday
October 18, 2022, however, things would make a drastic change.
Chancellor began coughing that turned into choking again, only this time is was
significantly worse, scary even. I called his pediatrician and told her what was
going on, and she told me to take him to the hospital immediately. I told my
husband I thought we should go to emergency and before I knew it, Chancellor
was struggling to breathe and looking very pale. We went to Henry Ford West
Bloomfield’s emergency (the hospital where he was born) only to find out within
the first 20 minutes of waiting in Triage that our 2 week old son had in fact caught
RSV. “How is this possible?” I screamed, “We’ve been in the house and to
doctors appointments. And the only times we’ve had to be out, he’s been fully
covered, so how could this be happening?” I was absolutely devastated.
We were immediately admitted to begin his treatment. Still unclear on how he got
it. Could it have been from his big sister Lourdes going to school and passing it
along even if she had no symptoms? Could it have been one of the hand full of
friends and family members that stopped by to see us after he was born? We will
never truly know. By Wednesday morning we were transported via ambulance
from Henry Ford West Bloomfield to Childrens Hospital Downtown for his
continued treatment. It was worse than we thought. That Wednesday October 19,
2022 after arriving at Children’s Hospital, we were moved to the ICU (Pediatric
ICU) around midnight Wednesday going into Thursday. This was after his
symptoms progressively got worse, after their initial respiratory treatments. And
please remember, at this point he had just turned 3 weeks old. This is my brand
new tiny baby boy. He hasn’t even taken his newborn pictures or had all his
Everything started happening so fast. Thursday night going into the wee hours of the morning of Friday October 21, 2022 was a roller coaster. I don’t think I’ve ever cried and prayed so much at one
time. Chancey had some serious trouble breathing that began Thursday evening
and I noticed he was struggling more than he should have been. It seemed like
something else was overwhelming him. The respiratory support he was receiving
didn’t seem to be helping him. Before we knew it, four doctors entered the room,
requesting Marcel and I leave so they could perform a procedure to get a
breathing tube down his throat and sedate him. When I say I was beyond
inconsolably, I mean it. Here I am in the hospital, still healing from giving birth
myself, trying to hold it all together for my baby. I broke. Marcel and I prayed in
the hospital waiting area like our lives depended on it, because to a degree, our
lives did depend on our baby being healed. This is the child we cried out to God
for, so there is no way we could handle him not getting through this. Staying
strong for my baby was a must, but this situation was extremely overwhelming
and truly put my faith to the test unlike anything I have ever experienced in my
life. He was sedated until his breathing regulated enough for him to function well
on the ventilator. 3 whole days. Breathing tubes feedings tubes and several other
cords that were so overwhelming took over my tiny baby’s body. No cries, very
little movement, no eyes opening. My prayer, “Lord supernaturally heal my baby,
from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. Clear and open his airways,
and in camp your angels of protection around him.” Praying him through was all I
had left. Asking our close family and friends to stand in agreement with us, was
all we had left. And when we say they stood in the gap for us, they truly did. We
had loved ones praying day and night, because where two or three are gathered,
we know God shows up. So praying and worship became my power.
Everything in my world was now on hold until my baby was healthy and healed.
Canceling travel plans for a project I had worked on for months, not seeing my
daughter in person for over a week, you name it, everything stopped.
After they decided it was time to remove the breathing tubes from his throat and
start weening him from all the breathing support it was literally a roller coaster of
doing well, and then not so well. We went through it all. But the team of doctors
and nurses in PICU at Children’s Hospital were amazing and did everything their
power to get Chancellor back to his healthy self!
After many prayers, and 13 days in the hospital, we were finally able and blessed
to take our newborn son home! We feel so grateful and beyond blessed that God
kept his arms around Chancellor during this scary time. All of this happened
before Chancellor was even old enough to get his first set of vaccines, so I’ve
been extremely diligent about not letting anyone visit and not being around lots of
people until Chancellor gets his first set of vaccines.
RSV is nothing to play with. Both of our children have experienced this terrible
virus and we urge parents to keep their children healthy and safe this season.
Also considering that children pass germs so easily and so frequently, protecting
my school aged child is so important to me, so she isn’t passing things on to her
infant brother. You don’t want to have to isolate your children from one another,
so keeping up with their vaccinations will help to eliminate that stress. Because of
everything our newborn experience in the hospital, his pediatrician advised us to
wait until he was at least 8 weeks before we moved forward with any of his
scheduled vaccines. So, before he turned 8 weeks staying home and keeping
him away from people has been my main priority. We want to be well and have
the ability to gather with family when the time comes this holiday season. Having
a sick newborn was one of the worst things my husband and I have ever
experienced and I don’t want to see anyone go through what we experienced.
Refrain from exposing your small children to too many people at once. I wouldn’t
wish our experience on anyone, especially someone with a newborn. There is
never really any way to know how your child may get RSV or the flu or even
Covid-19, but we can at least make small steps to keep them from contracting
these and many other viruses. Please protect your families by continuing to wear
masks, washing hands often, and keeping children out of each other’s faces.
Ever little bit helps! With RSV spreading rapidly, having hospitals full of children
and the elderly, it’s so important to get vaccinated for vaccine-preventable
illnesses like flu and COVID-19 to reduce the burden on our healthcare system.
Sure we know some vaccines cannot prevent you from contracting certain
illnesses, however we do know they reduce a level of intensity, and can also
prevent hospitalization for some. Here are just some of the benefits to getting the
1. Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with the flu.
Flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits
Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the
doctor due to the flu by 40 to 60 percent.
2. Flu vaccination helps keep you and your loved ones out of the hospital.
Flu vaccination prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year.
Flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive
care unit (PICU).
In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu hospitalizations
among adults by about 40 percent.
3. If you do get sick with the flu, flu vaccination can make it less severe.
Flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an
intensive care unit (ICU) with flu by 82 percent, during flu season.
4. Flu vaccination can save children’s lives.
Flu vaccination reduced the risk of dying from the flu by half (51 percent)
among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly
two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children, according to a 2017 study.
5. Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
6. Flu vaccination helps prevent the flu in people with chronic health
My partners over at I Vaccinate have a ton of information and resources available
to help navigate through what vaccines are best for you and your family. Head
over to IVaccinate.org during National Influenza Vaccination Week for more information and data.