Heidi Moody’s 4-year-old daughter, Gaitley, almost lost her life to meningococcal disease in 1997. It was New Year’s Eve, and Gaitley wasn’t feeling well. Heidi took her to the doctor who diagnosed her with an ear infection. Soon after returning home, Gaitley’s temperature rose to 106 degrees and she began vomiting and was weak and delusional. When a purplish rash developed on Gaitley’s body, Heidi rushed her to the hospital. Gaitley’s condition progressed and her organs began to fail. Doctors were able to save her, but had to amputate the toes on her left foot. Eight years later, doctors also had to amputate Gaitley’s left leg below the knee due to further complications. Despite ongoing health issues, Gaitley continues to partake in the activities she loves and plans to pursue a career in pediatric physical therapy.
“Parents need to be aware of meningococcal disease and speak with their health care providers about vaccination,” said Heidi. “This simple vaccine can potentially save your child’s life.”