There is no greater tragedy than the loss of a child. In today’s Tribune, we tell Aidan’s story. Aidan Roger Dupuch-Carron was born on November 24, 2015, and it was in the following July that his long battle began.
On July 6, 2016, his mother, Elizabeth, was informed by a registered nurse that Aidan was not himself. He was sleepy, quiet, didn’t drink much milk or eat any solid foods, and wasn’t his happy, energetic, engaging self.
His condition worsened, running a high temperature, breaking out in a rash and vomiting. That began a long, heart-rending series of tests, meetings with doctors and more in an effort to find out what was wrong with Aidan.
Ultimately, it was in Miami that he was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis, HLH for short, which can be triggered by vaccinations among other causes.
Vaccinations are a vital part of our modern life. They keep away diseases that have killed so many around the world or caused such hardship. So many Bahamians are involved in campaigning with Rotary to bring an end to polio – a virus that has harmed so many children in so many countries, and they are in touching distance of doing so.
The consequences of anti-vaccination beliefs have been seen already in outbreaks of diseases we thought long conquered, bringing with them misery that need not exist any longer.
But vaccinations have to be done right. We have to make sure that all our medical practitioners are educated on the right way to administer vaccinations.
Beyond that, medics also need to be kept up to date with the latest information regarding vaccinations – and what to watch out for when things go wrong.
In the worst of moments, we can learn. And losing Aidan – who died on Christmas Eve, 2017, from treatment-related leukemia caused by the drug needed to eradicate HLH – was the worst of moments.
We hope his life can help others. We hope his life can raise the awareness of such situations among the medical community. We hope that somewhere, out there, another life will be saved thanks to the lessons that have been learned from Aidan.
Every doctor – here and farther afield - can learn from this case, and would be wise to double check their procedures to make sure they are carrying out vaccinations in the medically approved manner.
They would do well to refresh their knowledge, indeed we would hope it would be a matter that could be driven by the Ministry of Health with the support of medical associations.
After all, the goal is a common one, something we all hope for: To keep all our children safe.
As we remember Aidan, and his happy smile, let us do all we can to keep smiles on all our children’s faces, and to keep them well.