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Mom Posts Video of Baby Battling Whooping Cough to Promote Vaccines

The Short of It

An Australian mom has posted a video of her baby suffering with whooping cough on social media in hopes it will encourage other parents to get their children vaccinated.

The Lowdown

Rebecca Harreman's Facebook post that features a video of her 4-month-old son during a whooping cough induced coughing fit has been shared more than 37,000 times and viewed more than 1.8 million times. It's hard to watch and impossible to forget.

"I've been on duty for over 3 weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing. Every. Single. Time. I cannot and will not pass that duty to anyone else, because I just can't sleep. So for those of you sitting on the fence on whether to vaccinate yourself and your kids or not...maybe this video will convince you," Harreman wrote when she shared the heartbreaking video.

And this isn't even a bad coughing fit, according to the self-described "pissed" mom. "Nothing compared to watching him turn blue from coughing for so long and so much he can't take a single breath...," she wrote in her post.

According to the CDC, children should receive five doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. But because of his age, Harreman says her son Austin has only had his first vaccination, which offered a little protection. Her doctors told her the fact that he is 4 months old, and not a newborn, is helping him fight the illness, which can last up to 100 days. Austin was on Day 23 at the time of Harreman's post. And as of yesterday, he is back in the hospital.

 

Okay so I know I said I'd let the hate go. But I'm tired. Damn tired. I've been on duty for over 3 weeks having to wake every single time my baby boy coughs for fear he will stop breathing. Every. Single. Time. I cannot and will not pass that duty to anyone else, because I just can't sleep.So for those of you sitting on the fence on whether to vaccinate yourself and your kids or not... maybe this video will convince you.This is a GOOD coughing fit in a 4 month old with Pertussis, or Whooping Cough - 23 days after his cough started which is when it's supposed to be getting past the bad stage. It lasts for up to 100 days, but a simple cold I passed onto him that I caught from being with him in hospital is making him relapse again :(Now when I say this is good... I mean that's absolutely nothing. Not even long enough to be called a coughing fit. Nothing compared to watching him turn blue from coughing for so long and so much he can't take a single breath...Imagine that in a tiny newborn baby. Can you imagine?! The doctors said he has his age and size and his first vaccination on his side to be able to fight this because there is no real way to treat it - you can only try and get some oxygen in them - that is if they breathe it in... and they have to do that all on their own. I don't care whether you want to try and prove to me that vaccinations and herd immunities don't work. I don't care that vaccinations have side effects, because every person in this world reacts differently to all types of food, products and medicines. I could not care less, even if it is ever proven one day that they don't work.You know why? Because at least at the end of the day I tried to do something to prevent this and not sit there and say "oh well, vaccinations don't work so I'll just sit here and do nothing"... because doing nothing goes against every cell in my body as a mother. Doing nothing is just wrong.So please share this and spread some awareness... not nonsense. This is getting worse because people are not vaccinating!Oh, and no matter what you believe - if you have a cough while out in public - cover your damn effing mouth!!!~End Rant~

Posted by Rebecca Harreman on Friday, November 13, 2015

The Upshot

The anguish this mom must feel as she watches her son's pain is hard to even imagine. Harreman just wants what is happening to her son to not to happen to any other child, and she urges people to get vaccinated, especially since whooping cough can be spread simply through a cough or sneeze.

"Please share this and spread some awareness... not nonsense. This is getting worse because people are not vaccinating!" she wrote.

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