Kimberly’s son, Shane, was a vibrant, healthy 6-year-old boy. He spent his days playing video games, racing motorcycles and anticipating the opening of the local skate park. Shane’s good nature earned him the respect and adoration of his family and friends. One day, Shane complained of back and leg pain and a headache. Kimberly thought he just needed rest and suggested a nap, but his symptoms, including vomiting and diarrhea, worsened. That evening, his sister called an ambulance after noticing his rising fever, shallow breathing and a bluish tint to his skin. When the paramedics arrived, Shane’s temperature was 104.9 degrees. Later, a rash appeared near his collarbone and spread across his torso. Doctors diagnosed Shane with meningococcal disease, but it was too late. Shane died less than 15 hours after his first symptoms.
“I didn’t recognize the symptoms or realize how serious this disease can be when it struck my son,” said Kimberly. “I only hope that by sharing my story others will see the value of awareness and immunization.”