The tragic death of a newborn baby from whooping cough has once again shone the light on the importance of vaccines. His is a story his parents want you to share.
Four-week-old Riley John Hughes gazes at the camera with those deep, knowing eyes that newborns have. A creamy, milky, newborn, perfect.
It is difficult to comprehend that this beautiful boy died on Tuesday in the arms of his loving family.
The death of a child is always hard to read about. You simply cannot comprehend the pain of his family, you can’t imagine their reality, and yet, as difficult as it is, theirs is a story they are willing to share because they don’t want this to ever happen to another family again.
32-day old Riley died in the arms of his parents, Greg and Catherine Hughes from complications arising from whooping cough.
Riley, who was born on February 13 had been fighting the contagious disease at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Perth.
His mother Catherine broke the tragic news in a public Facebook post writing “We are devastated to let everyone know our gorgeous sweet month-old son Riley John Hughes lost his battle with whooping cough at Princess Margaret Hospital earlier today. He passed away peacefully in our arms after a tough fight. The staff at PMH were amazing and did everything they could to save his little life but the whooping cough was too severe. RIP Riley. Forever in our hearts.”
His father, Greg posting “RIP to my darling little angel Riley, cruelly cut down before his life had an opportunity to start,”
“Riley passed away peacefully in the arms of his mummy and daddy at 14:00 today, aged just 32 days – a result of pneumonia based complications arising from whooping cough.
“I’m an absolute shell of a man without my baby boy and I’m truly not sure how I’ll cope, but I ask that you please respect the privacy of myself, Catherine and our family during this extremely arduous time.”
Riley’s mum Catherine Hughes told Mamamia that the first symptoms Riley exhibited were only one week earlier. She said he had a slight cough on Wednesday 11th March, but the doctor thought he was fine when called to the house. Two days later the family took him to the Princess Margaret Hospital.
On March 15th she posted on her Facebook page “If you haven’t been immunised against whooping cough (pertussis) please consider getting it done. Heartbreaking to watch 4 week old Riley struggle with it.”
Mrs Hughes told Mamamia that Riley “got progressively worse with pertussis, developed pneumonia and passed away from heart failure yesterday.”