Lacey Harris-Willoby

Lacey’s Story

Lacey’s 3-year-old son, Landan, was a sweet, healthy, and active little boy when he contracted a potentially deadly, yet vaccine-preventable bacterial infection known as meningococcal disease. On November 14, 2006, Landan was cranky, acting lethargic and complaining of a sore throat. When Lacey put her son to bed that night, she assumed he was just suffering from a cold. However, the next morning, Lacey noticed purple blotches all over Landan’s body. Lacey’s mother told her to call 911 immediately. As soon as Landan arrived at the hospital, doctors diagnosed him with meningococcal disease and told Lacey that her son had a 10 percent chance of survival. Despite the doctors’ efforts to save his life, Landan’s heart stopped, and he passed away only twenty-three hours after arriving at the hospital.

“Minutes matter because meningococcal disease progresses so quickly,” said Lacey. “Parents need to know that the best way to protect their children from this devastating disease is through vaccination.”

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