Thanks to the awareness-raising work done by the Hughes family and other grieving parents, countless numbers of Australian children will now have a chance to survive and thrive.
Under a program approved on Friday, 2500 mothers-to-be in Western Australia will be eligible for a free whooping cough vaccination.
The announcement comes in the wake of the death of four-week-old Riley Hughes, who contracted whooping cough earlier this month.
Riley’s parents have welcomed the new program.
‘We only wish this had been implemented sooner, maybe then our son would still be alive,’ father Greg Hughes told the Sunday Times.
Kim Hames, WA Minister for Health, says the free vaccinations will be provided for pregnant women in their third trimester ‘effective immediately’.
The Hughes family have previously told their story to Mamamia and the work that they are doing to raise awareness about the need for mothers to be vaccinated against whooping cough in their third trimester.
Change has come too late to save their own precious children, but Australian parents now owe the Hughes and others a deep debt of gratitude for their bravery.
Their story follows…
A few days ago, a newborn baby lost his fight for life. His parents are now fighting to change the advice given to parents about vaccination for whooping cough to ensure that no more children die.
Less than a week ago, Catherine Hughes and her husband, Greg held their baby Riley in their arms. They breathed in his scent, embraced his warmth and said goodbye.
Riley died of whooping cough at just four-weeks of age. He was just 32 days old.
His loss has devastated his parents. But what has blown their world apart is the realisation that his death could have been prevented if they had received critical medical advice about the whooping cough vaccination.
Now it’s a message that this desperately sad Australian mother wants other prospective mothers to hear and share.
Catherine and her husband were vaccinated against whooping cough – her friends and family were vaccinated against whooping cough.