NMA Advocates in Tennessee

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Linda and Dwight Fryer


Parents of Adrienne (age 16 years)

Adrienne Fryer

Linda Fryer’s daughter, Adrienne, was a loving, funny and intelligent 16-year-old who played clarinet in her high school band, when she lost her life to meningococcal disease. Adrienne went with her sister to a movie and when she got home she complained she wasn’t feeling well and had pain in her legs. She went to bed, but awoke at 2:00 a.m. with a fever. The next morning, Adrienne’s condition worsened. She had a very high fever, and was lethargic, achy, and dehydrated. Linda decided to take her to the hospital. By the time they arrived, Adrienne could barely walk. Doctors told Linda her daughter was very sick, but they didn’t know why. They decided to transport Adrienne to another hospital, but Adrienne had passed away.

“Parents need to know that meningococcal disease exists and that it can be prevented,” said Linda. “Had I known, my daughter Adrienne would have been vaccinated and might be alive today. After losing Adrienne, I made sure that my other daughter, Amanda, was vaccinated against this disease.”


Tresa Whitehead


M.O.M. of Sarah Beth (age 14 years)

Sarah Beth

Tresa’s daughter, Sarah Beth, was an athletic 14-year-old, full of faith and loved by all who knew her when she tragically lost her life to meningococcal disease. One night, Sarah Beth woke up with a severe headache and chills. She soon began to vomit, but she told Tresa to go back to sleep, saying she would be fine. Tresa found Sara Beth unconscious a short time later and called 911. At the emergency room, Sarah Beth was diagnosed with meningococcal disease. Sarah Beth’s organs began to fail and she was having trouble breathing. Hours later, doctors transported Sarah Beth to a hospital better able to handle her condition, but Sarah Beth never regained consciousness. She passed away on March 11, 2005.

“This devastating disease is particularly dangerous because symptoms closely resemble the flu, making it hard to identify and diagnose,” said Tresa. “Our adolescents and teens are at increased risk, and the best way to protect them is through prevention. I urge you to speak with your children’s health care provider about meningococcal vaccination.”