M.O.M. of Brendan (age 17 years)
Jane Hession’s son Brendan was in high school when he died from meningococcal disease, only 16 hours after the onset of his first symptoms. It was not until after her son passed away that Jane learned about the vaccine that might have saved her son’s life. Jane is now dedicated to educating other parents about meningococcal disease and prevention, including immunization.
M.O.M. of Andy (survived at age 22 years)
Ginny’s son, Andy, almost lost his life to meningococcal disease as a senior in college. Andy was three weeks shy of graduation, and in addition to finishing up classes, he wrote for a local weekly newspaper and the school newspaper. When he called Ginny to say he wasn’t feeling well, she assumed he was run down and had the flu. The next morning, however, a friend found that Andy’s legs and arms were covered with purple blotches. Andy was taken to the hospital. Andy survived the disease, but he spent a total of five months in the hospital and had to undergo amputation of most of his fingers and about one third of each foot. Andy graduated number one in his journalism class. Both his graduation ceremony and his 23rd birthday party were held in hospital.
“As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children and ensure they remain healthy,” said Ginny. “My hope is that parents begin to recognize the symptoms of meningococcal disease and the importance of prevention.”