Parents Choose Not to Vaccinate Their Kids & Come to Regret It

Horrifying 120

vaccinationIan and Linda Williams were confident about their choice not to vaccinate their children. But a recent health scare has hurled them into a 180 turn on immunizations, and they want to warn everyone they can: Not vaccinating nearly killed their child. When their 7-year-old son Alijah got a small cut on the bottom of his foot, they thought it was just an ordinary injury that would heal. But that cut turned into a nightmare that landed Alijah in intensive care. Alijah's foot was infected with tetanus bacteria, a serious infection that can put a child's life in danger.

"The mistake that we made was that we underestimated the diseases and we totally overestimated the adverse reactions," Ian Williams admits. And those adverse reactions were horrific.

First Alijah came down with a stroke on one side of his face (toxins had begun to attack his nerves). A couple days later he was in intense pain, with cramps spreading all across his face. The cramps and the pain spread throughout his body. Once he was in intensive care, doctors induced a coma to relieve the escalating symptoms. Alijah was put on life support and heavily sedated for three weeks.

The Williams felt horrible. Their decision had caused their son so much pain -- and threatened his life. How could they have been so wrong?

Linda had been set against vaccinations from the beginning. Ian, a scientist, decided to do his own research. What he found convinced him that vaccinations were dangerous and benefited pharmaceutical companies more than children. But as soon as the Williams found out that their son was suffering from tetanus, they had their other two children vaccinated against all childhood diseases. And then they started speaking out about their experience.

I feel like we've hit a turning point in the vaccination debate. The connection between MMRs and autism seems to have been debunked. But that trust between doctors and parents -- or, more accurately, between drug manufacturers and parents -- has been broken. Vaccinations still make a lot of parents nervous and skeptical. But most of us aren't quite ready to ditch them altogether, so we go with delayed schedules, or we ask our doctors a thousand questions.

I have friends who work in infectious diseases around the globe, and they take immunizations seriously. They save lives. But there must be some balance that gives parents a greater sense of control and arms us with trustworthy information. No need to throw out vaccination altogether -- but maybe if we avoid extreme positions, we can protect our kids' health from both diseases and vaccination schedules that don't work for everyone.

Do you trust the information about vaccinations that you can find on the Internet?


Image via Daniel Paquet/Flickr

kid health, vaccines


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

ILove... ILovemyPaulie

Both my children are fully vaccinated but we opt out of the flu shot yearly. You just never know what they can pick up these days. When I was small international travel was nothing like it is today so what is your child exposed to on any given day even at the mall?

LostS... LostSoul88

"you can't put anything on the internet that isn't tre"

When it comes to stuff like this people need to do a lot of research. Not read stupid blogs that have one sided open (cough Stir cough). They need to read sites like the CDC or things with .gov or .edu and even .org. They need to take time and read a lot before making a choice. 

I vaccinate my kids besides the flu shots and my DD with not get the HPV shot either until she is old enough to decide herself. I myself refuse it. The side affects out way the benefits. Same with the flu shot its pointless. There is hundreds of new strain a year and the shot protects against very little of them. 

Desirae8 Desirae8


lalab... lalaboosh

I'm wary of vaccines, but tetanus is one I'm ok with. My daughter is two and summer is coming, so she's getting her first shot very soon. I'm glad their boy is alright now, that ordeal must have scared the crap out of them!

miche... micheledo

You have to research thoroughly . I am much more prone to trust a blog or site that provides plenty of links to scientific, peer reviewed sources. Yes, even non-vaxing sites that provide links to the CDC!

That being said, I am very curious about the son's injury and their reaction. Did they not clean the cut? Did it not bleed? Also, I found it suspicious that they immediately vaccinated their other two children against all childhood diseases the next day. Wh ywould any doctor allow a child to receive so many shots at one time? I am assuming/hoping that was just poorly written and they started their other children on their vaccinations.

nonmember avatar Cass

I can argue all day about the evidence supporting vaccines as a healthy choice. However, the simplest argument I will make is to simply ask- if you do not vaccinate your child and he or she catches the disease, would you be able to live with yourself? Would you be able to live with yourself if your child is crippled or killed by a disease that could have been prevented with a common vaccine? I would not be able to live with myself if I chose to not do everything in my power to protect my child's health.

Renee Perkins-Curkendall

Again, this article only shares a portion of the dilemma.  Some of the shots, those that protect against lethal illnesses are, of course, wise to administer.  In addtion, the DTaP has proven to be very safe and virtually none of the potential vaccination complications are related to this vaccine (I listed ONLY the ACELLULAR pertussis, as it is a dead vaccine as is tentanus and diptheria).  I have refused the "live" pertussis for all my children and the efficacy is the same for both. 

Renee Perkins-Curkendall

With that said, one of my major beefs with the vaccines is the schedule in which they are given.  I truly think that most kids will do just fine with ALL of the shots, however, giving a newborn only a few moments old, a vaccine against Hep. B, a blood borne or sexually transmitted illness, is totally unwarrented and dangerous practice. There is no reason to vaccinate a child who has maternal antibodies to all of those illnesses we vaccinate against until almost 18 months old.

Renee Perkins-Curkendall

.  I have advocated the spreading out of vaccines to allow the child's body to acclimate to each new insult and antibody it's given.  Giving multiple live vaccines to a profoundly immature immune system is likewise dangerous in my opinion.  By spacing the vaccines out and reserving the live ones for when child comes of age to be exposed to children who are known to spread the illness (measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox) seems reasonable to me.  The rates of autism have risen in direct correlation with the number of vaccinations we've introduced to our youngest children. 

Renee Perkins-Curkendall

This article states the child was 7 at the time of illness.  He was certainly of an age I would have ensured he was vaccinated against those types of illnesses that lead to life threatening complications.  The immediate turn around in attitude is not unexpected with the scare they had, but that scare erased all of the "research" the educated father had done on his own.  That's what scares me, is that once they were faced with the medical community and probably chastised for not immunizing their children, they changed their tune. 

1-10 of 120 comments 12345 Last