Echo Bennett’s son, Gavin, was only 6 months old when he nearly lost his life to meningococcal disease. One morning, Gavin woke up feverish and refused to eat. The local health clinic told Echo that Gavin probably had the flu. When he developed a rash on his thighs that spread to his face, Echo dialed 911. Gavin was transferred to three hospitals before receiving the treatment that would ultimately save his life. Only 18 hours after his symptoms began, doctors told Echo he had a 10 percent chance of survival. Despite the odds, Gavin lived. Due to extensive tissue damage, he had to undergo numerous surgeries and has many more ahead. Although the scars covering his body are a constant reminder of his battle with meningococcal disease, Gavin is a happy, active boy who loves to play sports.
“My hope is to raise awareness to help prevent this disease from affecting other families,” said Echo. “It’s important for parents to be able to recognize its signs and symptoms and to understand that vaccination is available for their infant children.”