Berit’s Story

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Berit Calvin Warren McAbee died less than 48 hours after receiving the DTaP, Hep. B, IPV, Hib, Pneumo Conjugate 13, and Rotavirus vaccines.

Words from his mother Anne:

“He had started smiling and rolling over and was really alert. Bear was a cuddle bug. He loved to be held. He was a happy baby and very laid back until he was done with that and wanted to be held. He would smile when he heard people talking, especially if they were talking to him.

The days before his 2-month checkup I started feeling like I really didn’t want to get him vaccinated. I expressed my concerns to the doctor which they told me “many parents feel this way before their child’s shots” and assured me he would be fine. Bear was vaccinated on the 26th of March. He received the DTaP, Hep. B, IPV, Hib, Pneumo Conjugate 13, and Rotavirus vaccines.

After his shots, he slept a lot. He slept almost all day. I had to wake him up to feed him – that was very unusual. He cried so much more than normal. He never ran a fever. Looking back on pictures now I can see his eyes were glazed over. He was not alert anymore, and he was swollen.

It was the 28th of March at 3:00 a.m., I woke up having really bad cramps (I had ovarian cysts ever since I received the HPV/Gardasil vaccine). I had Bear sleeping on my chest (he was wanting to be held more than usual), so when I got up, I had to put him down. He went right back to sleep. I put him down in bed on his back and went to take a bath.

I came back 15 minutes later and picked him up — he was limp. I screamed. Woke up my now ex-husband and he began doing CPR while I called 911. I remember I was in such a shock that I told them our old address and not our new one. I finally gave up trying to explain and told them to call the hospital in our town and tell them we were coming. We lived two minutes away.

When we got there, the doctors and nurses immediately took Bear from us and started working on him. By the time we got there, he had blood running out of his nose. They got him back and lost him several times. That beeping sound still to this day makes me feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. Neonatal nurses were flown in from Oklahoma University via helicopter to try to stabilize him, so we could transfer him. It wasn’t happening. Even on the ventilator he was still going in and out.

Around 9:00 a.m., all family and close friends were there. The doctor pulled us back to a room by ourselves and told us Bear was without oxygen to his brain for too long and he would never be able to have a normal life. We were still losing him on and off at this point too.

We had to make the hardest decision ever. We decided to take him off of the machine and hold him while he took his last breaths. At 10:13 a.m., he was pronounced dead.
Those months following, and still to this day, are sometimes unbearable. Sometimes it’s like you think you’ll eventually wake up from this nightmare that’s actually your life.”

Full story here.