Start Early

Alex Dempsey and Gabriel Schultz parents to Killy, their 4-month-old son died from bacterial meningitis only 24 hours after showing symptoms.
They thought he just had a normal fever when they picked him up from day care at the end of last month. The couple had taken Killy to get his routine vaccinations two days before he developed symptoms.
Dempsey, 27, said, “Officials with the Virginia Department of Health have told me that Killy was exposed to an asymptomatic carrier of the meningococcus bacteria during a visit to their pediatrician’s office. An asymptomatic carrier can carry the bacteria in his or her nose or throat despite not being sick.”
“That is another reason why we wanted to bring a light to what happened because maybe this person doesn’t know they have it,” Dempsey said. “It might make them think, ‘Maybe I should get this vaccine just in case,’ which can help with those who are not in a position to do it themselves.” They are urging teens and adults to get vaccinated to protect small children.

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