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This is Rubella: My Brother Lived for 7 Min and Never Met My Parents.

This is Rubella: My Brother Lived for 7 Min and Never Met My Parents.

Immunization has always resonated very personally with my family.

My mom contracted rubella in her first trimester of her first pregnancy in 1964. As a nurse she was aware of the danger to her baby from contracting this disease early in her pregnancy, but there were no screenings available to find out if her fetus was affected. She did not gain much weight and felt very little movement, so she suspected that things weren't quite right. She went into labour, and her son was discovered to be breech. She was 'put out' with gas in the delivery room and he was delivered with high forceps. His neck was bent backwards and fused to his spine. He lived for about 7 minutes and then passed away. Had he lived, he would have been profoundly handicapped. He was taken away before my mom woke up, and she (and my dad) never got to meet or see him. They named him David, and my mom remembers his birthday every year to this day. 

Thankfully, because of the rubella vaccine, women in Canada do not have to face tragedy such as this any more.

Last modified: 
Oct 26, 2017


This is so tragic! I think a lot of people these days don't realize that things like what happened to your family are what happen when someone contracts one of these diseases; they've been gone so long (due to immunizations) that we've forgotten just how tragic some of these diseases really are.

Such a tragic story! I am sorry for the loss and pain that your family has endured. Immunizations and herd immunity are so important in order to avoid other women and families going through similar experiences. Thank you for sharing.