Mike and Charlene Barnes

Donna’s Story

Mike and Charlene’s son, Jimmy, was a popular, athletic and funny 20-year-old when he lost his life to serogroup B meningococcal disease. One morning, he woke up in terrible pain and an ambulance rushed him to the emergency room. Mike went to the hospital to find his son suffering from back pain, numb legs and arms, stiff neck and a fever of 103. Jimmy was diagnosed with the flu and sent home.

The next morning, Jimmy developed a rash all over his body. When Mike and Charlene urged Jimmy to go back to the hospital, he insisted on staying home in bed to recover. That was the last time they spoke. He was gone in 28 hours.

Vaccines recommended at the time covered most strains of the disease, but did not cover serogroup B disease. There are now vaccines available for serogroup B. Today, Mike and Charlene educate others about prevention and work to increase awareness of available vaccines to help protect other families from this devastating disease.

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