The powerful Twitter thread stresses the importance of herd immunity by explaining in detail the harmful effects of being around an unvaccinated individual had on her daughter.
Despite there being countless studies and research stressing the importance of vaccination, the anti-vaxxer movement appears to gain momentum with every passing day. Meanwhile, there have been many cases where even those who had their children vaccinated, end watching them suffer simply due to being in proximity of an unvaccinated child. The mother of an 8-year-old with cancer recently took to Twitter to add yet another real-life, gutwrenching story to the mix, calling attention to the importance of herd immunity. Nicole Stellon O'Donnell's powerful Twitter thread lays bare in detail the harmful effects unvaccinated children have had on her daughter.
A dramatic global surge in cases of measles calls for immediate action to keep children safe.— UNICEF (@UNICEF) February 5, 2020
We're helping to vaccinate 45 million girls and boys across seven countries. #VaccinesWorkhttps://t.co/Qbav4nRbST
Dear parents of children who do not have cancer: a casual measles exposure in a grocery store caused the following things to happen when my child was in chemotherapy, O'Donnell began. My daughter was quarantined for one month. It's enough to be bald and chemo stricken at 8, but add being unable to leave the house. When we arrived at ped/onc they had to cancel appointments and shut down the infusion room while they sorted out the details of her exposure. The treatment of all the other patients (children with cancer) that afternoon was disrupted, she revealed.
More children than ever before are receiving basic immunizations. @BillGates explains why #vaccineswork and how improvements in health are lifting people out of poverty in the @GatesFoundation Annual Letter. Read here -> https://t.co/hnOrMwlfZP pic.twitter.com/re5IFCkN3H— Rotary International (@Rotary) February 10, 2020
O'Donnell stated that the exam room at the hospital also had to be shut down and given a "terminal cleaning," which disrupted the pediatric and oncology department's ability to serve other outpatient children with cancer. On the flight home, she had to wear a mask. This may not seem like a big deal, but imagine being eight, bald, skeletal, without eyebrows and eyelashes *and* having to wear a face mask in public, she tweeted. Moreover, there was also a chance that other children at the hospital would be required to take shots of Neulasta to boost their white blood cell counts, which causes painful side effects.
There was a possibility that other children could have been required to have shots of Neulasta to boost their white blood cell counts. The side effects include terrible bone pain. Fortunately, my daughter's WBC count was high enough that no children had to go through that. Our oncology team spent much time working with state epidemiologists to decide what to do. Both for our child and all the other children in the clinic that day. I cried with relief when the told me none of the other children had to take Neulasta, O'Donnell tweeted.
"What she expressed to me was this fear of not understanding what a vaccine is and what it does."— OR Health Authority (@OHAOregon) February 5, 2020
Hear how Sarah's powerful conversation changed her mom's long-held views on vaccinations. #ORVaccinates #VaccinesWork pic.twitter.com/ZYQVybHZFJ
The concerned mother added that she was relieved that this occurred during the summer as her daughter would've had to miss school otherwise. She had missed three months while we lived 350 miles away during the first months of chemo. She would have been crushed to miss more, O'Donnell tweeted. She concluded her thread with a simple but incredibly important message: Please #vaccinate your kids. Please get your #flushot. It's an act of compassion for the many children who need herd immunity because their immune systems are not working.
Vaccines keep children alive and healthy.— UNICEF Ethiopia (@UNICEFEthiopia) February 12, 2020
In 2019, #UNICEF with partners supported the vaccination of more than 730, 000 children against measles in #Ethiopia.
Read our latest Humanitarian Situation Report:
👇https://t.co/XkwRRLAEwg#ForEveryChild, #VaccinesWork pic.twitter.com/FGWcmi3JrV
The powerful Twitter thread soon went viral on social media with other netizens sharing similar heartbreaking stories:
From someone who is going through chemo, please get yourself and your kids vacimated, even if you don't think that it is effective. I'm worried every time I have to pick up my 7 year old at school.— Stephen Battista (@StephenBattista) November 22, 2018
My father died of a massive heart attack at 51. He contracted heart disease in his 40s when he caught mumps from a kid. #VaccinesWork— Anne Smith (@buttersalt2000) November 23, 2018
Our son spent a week in isolation after measles exposure. He had a heart transplant and can’t get the MMR. Your tweet sums the chaos and panic of an exposure up perfectly.— Elizabeth Holloway (@RegStrategist) November 22, 2018
As an adult cancer patient, thank you for this. I'm still stunned at the number of grown-ups I know that keep putting off getting a flu shot despite my asking. For them, a flu is a day or two in bed. For me, it's hospitalization and all the pain and costs that come with it.— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) November 24, 2018
As a grown woman who is immunocompromised, thanks for posting this. A casual measles exposure could kill me. Thankfully the one time I know I was exposed I somehow managed enough antibodies. It was a darn miracle, and I can't expect a miracle every time.— The Oracle near Delphi Falls (@labgrrl) November 22, 2018
I couldn’t agree with this more. When I was 14 we did my make-a-wish to Hawaii. My little sister got the chicken pox while we were there and so I spent my make-a-wish in a small Hawaiian hospital quarantine room getting painful injections to protect me. When I was released(1)— Delaney Fuck Cancer Wlliams (@AuthorDelaneyW) November 22, 2018
But I spent most of it isolated and in pain. All because of a group of parents at my sisters school had a “chicken pox party” for their children and then exposed the class, which included my sister, and then exposed me. It would have killed me if it had the chance. #vaccinate— Delaney Fuck Cancer Wlliams (@AuthorDelaneyW) November 22, 2018
Many applauded O’Donnell for sharing the powerful story while reiterating the importance of vaccination themselves:
I hear a lot that measles is not a big deal, so there's no need to vaccinate against it. It's not a big deal except when it is a big deal. Thank you for sharing! Glad she's doing better!— Bekky with two 'k's (@BekkyCunningham) November 22, 2018
I get so angry when I hear the excuse is that it causes Autism....drives me crazy! My son has Aspergers....looking back I knew early on there was something different, it wasn’t caused by shots. When you see it in other family members you have to face the fact that it is inherited— Su@smileburg #Impeach #Indict #Incarcerate (@smileburg) November 23, 2018
This, a thousand times this!— Geneva Christie (@GenevaChristie) November 22, 2018
That vaccination is not only a health security for one's own child, IT IS PART OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT one makes to live alongside other humans.
What if someone's beliefs were to burn their kid? Law and society wd step in.