It was Dec. 31, 1945. My 20 year old mother was not well enough to celebrate the coming New Year with the Canadian soldiers who remained in her country of the Netherlands. Within 24 hours she was hospitalized and fighting for her life. She had diphtheria. Her throat was so swollen she could not swallow, had to be tube fed and was hospitalized for months. She knew many who did not win that fight. Their bodies would be draped, wheeled out of the room only to be replaced with a new diphtheria victim.
My husband’s aunt contracted polio as a teen. She sustained a weak left leg and had a lifelong limp because of it. She was luckier than others who were much more disabled than she was because of the results of polio.
Just before the vaccine was available my oldest brother contracted whooping cough as a baby. He almost died.
Thanks to vaccines these diseases, and many others, are preventable. All of our children were vaccinated. And, although we are all adults now, we make sure our immunizations are up to date and, because we visit loved ones in care homes, get flu shots each year.
Because of vaccines, we don’t see the results of these diseases. Many parents become complacent and decide not to vaccinate their children. These parents are playing with their own children’s futures and the futures of others as well. Get immunized!