Grand Blanc, Michigan
Mother of Jennifer O'Neil, Who Died of Meningococcal Disease
Peggy's daughter, Jennifer, was a 24-year-old woman who had her whole life ahead of her. She had a good job and was going to school full time at a community college. On Monday, March 7, 2005, Jennifer came down with a bad headache. A few hours later, she started vomiting and had a fever of 103.4. That night Jennifer collapsed on the bathroom floor and Peggy rushed her to the hospital. By the next morning, Jennifer's lips turned blue and a purple rash covered her body. She was placed on a ventilator, but when her condition worsened, Jennifer was transported to another hospital. At first, she seemed to show improvement, however, she began to have difficulty breathing, and her liver and kidneys continued to fail. It wasn't until after Jennifer's death that Peggy learned vaccination can prevent meningococcal disease.
For more information about prevention and meningococcal vaccination recommendations, click here.
"I didn't know about this disease, none of us did," said Peggy. "This could have been prevented."
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Mother of Lucas, Who Died of Meningococcal Disease
As a junior in high school, Bea Rosalez's son, Lucas, was an active, respectful young man who loved snowboarding, running cross country and spending time with his friends.
One afternoon in the early summer of 2007, Lucas wasn't feeling very well and thought he was coming down with the flu. Within hours, Lucas' condition worsened and he became disoriented and confused, his breathing became incredibly rapid, and he began developing a small purple rash behind his ear. Once at the hospital, Lucas was diagnosed with meningococcemia, a form of meningococcal disease that poisons the blood system, and died only 12 hours after his first symptoms appeared. It was not until after Lucasí death that Bea learned there was a vaccine available that could have potentially saved her son's life.
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