M.O.M. of Jeff (age 16 years)
Sue Burd’s son, Jeff, was a motivated high school student and avid hockey player when his life was suddenly cut short due to meningococcal disease. Jeff was feeling a little run down but thought he just had the same cold many of his family members were experiencing. However, three days later, Jeff’s temperature skyrocketed to 104 degrees and he complained of feeling weak and uncomfortable. Later that afternoon, Jeff suffered a seizure. Sue called 911 and within five minutes of arriving at the hospital, doctors confirmed he had meningitis. Despite the rapid diagnosis, Jeff lost his battle with meningococcal disease.
“Many people do not realize how dangerous and deadly meningococcal disease is until it hits them, and its devastating impact is indescribable,” Sue said. “Through our awareness efforts, we hope to save other families from experiencing the heartbreak we felt due to meningitis.”
Jeff Burd’s sister, Sara Burd, is a T.E.A.M. member.
T.E.A.M. member (survived at age 23 years)
M.O.M. of David (age 13 years)
Olga Pasick’s son David was 13-years-old, when meningococcal disease tragically took his life. One evening in September of 2004, David came down with flu-like symptoms. He first felt cold, spiked a high fever, and vomited throughout the night. In the morning Olga called his pediatrician to have David seen. Everything ached, and David needed help getting dressed. That’s when Olga noticed purplish spots on David’s chest and arms. As soon as the doctors saw David, they knew he had meningococcal disease. He was rushed to the ER, but unfortunately the disease spread quickly and his organs failed. David died within 24 hours of his first symptoms. Olga never thought she would lose David, as healthy as he was. It was only after her son’s death that she learned meningococcal disease is potentially vaccine-preventable.
“I wish I could have helped my own son by getting him vaccinated against meningococcal disease before this tragic event.” said Olga. “I hope that sharing my story will help other families be spared.”