Mother shares photo of son with measles to convince parents to vaccinate their children

A mother is asking parents to vaccinate their children after son gets measles (Stock)
A mother is asking parents to vaccinate their children after son gets measles (Stock)

A mother is urging other parents to have their children vaccinated after her own eight-month-old son was diagnosed with measles.

Kiora Pen shared the plea on Facebook alongside a photo of her rash-covered son Marshall, who was diagnosed with the infectious viral disease on Monday.

“Public Health England have called me this morning to confirm, after analysing his swab, Marshall is suffering with measles,” Pen wrote.

According to the mum, she didn’t want to share the photo of Marshall until recently for fear of being accused of “scaremongering” - but decided to do so to show what can happen when children are not vaccinated.

“To those who make the choice not to vaccinate their children, this is what an eight-month-old baby with measles looks like,” she wrote.

The mum then revealed that, prior to getting sick, Marshall was the “happiest baby you will ever meet” - but has now spent a week sick and in the hospital where he has “suffered with so much pain, lost a lot of weight from not eating or drinking and has been unsettled and crying a lot.”

While he recovers, the mum explained that her eight-month-old has a “incredibly low immune system,” and she has been advised not to take him outside of the house for at least two weeks.

Pen then continued her post expressing her frustration over her son’s diagnosis - as it could have been prevented if all other children of age received their MMR, a vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella.

“Marshall is too young for his MMR but there are plenty of other adults who choose not to vaccinate their babies who are old enough,” she wrote. “Babies like Marshall rely on other babies to have their MMR to prevent this from happening.”

Pen concluded by asking parents who choose not to vaccinate their children why they would “want to see your baby go through this.”

“And you have the power to stop other babies suffering too,” she wrote.

Pen’s post has since been shared more than 40,000 times - with many parents thanking the mum for sharing the important reminder.

“I’m so sorry for what your little guy is suffering through. Vaccines work and I wish vaccine rates were higher to protect him and others too young to get the vaccine,” one person wrote.

Many of the commenters reject the idea that unvaccinated children are to blame - instead suggesting the “shedding” of the MMR vaccine caused Marshall became sick when he was in contact with vaccinated children. The NHS website, however, states: "It's not possible for people who have recently had the MMR vaccine to infect other people."

Of the thousands of responses, Pen told The Independent: “Some are good, some bad and some ugly."

But the mum explained that her only focus “will be on my son.”

Measles is a highly infectious viral disease that can lead to serious complications, according to the NHS.

To prevent the disease, a vaccine is administered to children when they are 13 months old and again when they are three years and four months old.

Although the disease was confirmed eliminated in the UK by the World Health Organisation in 2016 because of the effectiveness of the vaccine, there have been 828 confirmed cases in England in 2018.

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