They lost their baby son to a preventable disease. Now Riley's parents want our help.

“For Riley, and for every other family affected by vaccine preventable diseases.”

Mamamia has previously reported on the heartbreaking story of little four-week-old Riley Hughes, who tragically passed away after contracting whooping cough just last month.

Now, Riley’s family are calling for a National Adult Immunisation Register to be created so that adults know when and what kind of vaccinations they need boosters for.

Riley Hughes passed away at just 32 days old.

The Hughes family have become avid supporters of vaccinations, and started a Facebook page called “Light For Riley” to raise awareness. So far they’ve had a program approved that sees 2500 mothers-to-be in Western Australia become eligible for a free whooping cough vaccination.

Read more: The heartbreaking words of Riley’s dad, who lost his beautiful baby to whooping cough.

They posted this image earlier this week in hopes they can institute further change.

The post reads as follows:

Why is it that we get a reminder when our pets are due a vaccination but we don’t receive reminders ourselves?

In this country, the overwhelming majority of people believe in vaccination and believe they’re doing the right thing but simply have received incorrect information or misinformation from an unreliable source. I’ve heard numerous anecdotes of ‘I thought because I’d had my shots as a kid I was covered’, or ‘I was told I only needed my shot every 10 years’. It’s not hard to understand the level of confusion when even certain members of the medical community receive differing information based on which state they’re located in.

The onus of protection is placed squarely on the shoulders of the mother and father reminding everyone around them to immunise, with little support from the system itself. This is not good enough.

Following my son’s passing, I’m determined to do everything in my power to provide Australians with the best tools possible to be informed and to protect their children. With the framework provided by the Medicare system, we should be establishing a National Adult Immunisation Register that follows the immunisation guidelines and reminds the adult community of when their boosters are due or if there has been changes to the recommendations.

Little Riley Hughes.


The government has this capability so why is it that we don’t place a greater emphasis on maintaining herd immunity, given the World Health Organisation lists immunisation alongside clean drinking water as one of the most important health successes of the last century?

I humbly ask that you share this post, tag a friend who might not be aware, save the image and send it to your local MP in an effort to overhaul Australia’s attitude towards preventable diseases.

I’m also inviting Tony Abbott and Bill Shorten MP and any other interested members of parliament to contact me regarding the issue as I’d be more than happy to discuss.

Let’s inform the community, introduce reform and eradicate death by preventable diseases.

For Riley, and for every other family affected by vaccine preventable diseases.

-Riley’s Dad

The Hughes families efforts are not in vain. So far they have been able to institute real, working changes to vaccination advice. The register is possible – and necessary – to ensure that no parent ever has to endure the heartache they have suffered at the hands of a preventable disease.

To donate to the Everyday Hero Light for Riley donation page go here.

To support the Light for Riley Facebook page go here.