Infant Dies 4 Days After 5 Vaccines and 14 Years Later Mother Speaks Out
Gracie was a healthy, joyful infant with no known medical issues prior to her two month old vaccines. After the administration of Gracie’s two month vaccines, her mother describes, “she was fussy, but there was nothing out of the “norm” that I could remember, until she woke up screaming like she was in pain in the middle of the night that last time.” Four days after Gracie received her two month shots – DTaP, HIB, IPV, Hep B and PCV – she died of cardiopulmonary arrest and cerebral edema.
September 26th, 2018 marks the 14 year anniversary of Nichol Willow’s daughter Gracie’s death. This day won’t be remembered with cheerful milestones, any “firsts,” or a kiss before bed. This day, and every other one that follows, is a stark hollow reminder to Gracie’s mom of her grief, sorrow, and heartache. Nichol did not want to be silent about her story any longer. She reached out to us to share her painfully tragic experience of losing her infant from a lethal side effect to vaccination, so her story could reach more families and raise awareness. (She originally posted her story on her Facebook page on 9/24/18.) In our interview below, there’s a question and answer exchange with Nichol that follows her story.
Nichol: I largely try to avoid any debates on Facebook because very rarely are minds changed and frequently respect and even relationships are lost. I’ve been quiet about this for a very long time, but I’m about to open up.
You think the government should have the right to force all parents to vaccinate? You’re a fan of forced medical procedures? Well, I’m going to tell you why I oppose that line of thinking.
Gracie was a happy and healthy two month old baby girl. On this day 14 years ago, I was dealing with a cranky, fussy infant because I did what I thought was in my child’s best interest. Doctors know so much about vaccinations, right? They tell you that in order to be a good parent, you get your child’s shots, so you do it. Doctors know best, right…?
Not necessarily. I went to sleep on this night 14 years ago not knowing my entire world was about to be turned upside down.
I woke up to my baby screaming. Not an “I’m hungry cry.” A full on something hurts scream. I was groggy and I was young. I didn’t know what was wrong, so I did what every nursing mother does to console her child, and I put her to breast. I didn’t know that would be the very last time I would interact with her like normal.
Later in the night, I woke up and checked on her. I’m pretty sure that every mother to ever have a child in the history of humans wakes up and looks for the rise and fall of her breathing, sleeping baby. I looked. I strained my eyes in dark. For a split moment I sat in shock and disbelief. She HAS TO be breathing, right?!
I started CPR. My now ex-husband dialed 911. None of it seemed real. I knew it was bad when the ambulance showed up and we didn’t leave right away. They continued to try to stabilize her before leaving. It felt like eternity…
At the hospital, we were ushered into the waiting room while staff began working on her there. I prayed like I’ve never prayed in my life.
And waited before a doctor appeared.
I sat there with leaking breasts in my pajamas as he explained that they were still trying, but that it didn’t look good. He said I could go back to the room with her now, but that I would have to stay out of the way.
I watched in horror as they worked. I watched while my heart was breaking and my breasts were leaking. I longed for this to be a nightmare where I could wake and nurse her again as I listened to the medical speak, sometimes understanding, and sometimes not. What I did understand though… finally a heartbeat! I was filled with so much joy and happiness. I didn’t quite understand what it all meant though.
“What happened? Why did this happen? Was this SIDS and we caught it in time?” I had so many questions. I was told they didn’t know what happened, but that it wasn’t SIDS. There were certain aspects that made them think that was not the case (the details of which I’m not going in to here).
My baby was flown via helicopter to a bigger city hospital. They began immediately to talk to me about removing her from life support. I was stunned. Why would I stop trying?! No. Hell #%$* no!!! I was not going to agree. I was told they were uncertain of her chances, but that we would know more over time.
Gracie went downhill. She was bloated from swelling all over because her kidneys weren’t working efficiently. There was blood in her urine. She had rancid poopy diapers because the lining of her stomach and intestines was sloughing off due to the time she had without oxygen.
All through the next night, I barely slept. On top of worry, on a timer, every three hours I went to a tiny room the size of a closet and pumped breastmilk on schedule. I refused to believe she wasn’t going to pull through.
By that next morning, she was not only not improving, she was still getting worse–and rapidly. Her kidneys completely quit. She swelled even more. Her soft spot was then bulging from the swelling. It was explained to me that while she was occasionally taking breaths “on her own” over the vent, it was something called agonal breathing –a reflex from the brain stem. Finally, her heart rate became erratic and her blood pressure began to skyrocket and then nosedive and then repeat.
After so many talks of them trying to convince me to remove life support, in the middle of the morning of September 26th, a doctor came into the room…”Ma’am, I know you don’t want to remove Gracie from life support, but soon, you won’t have the choice. Her heart was once beating like clockwork, but that is no longer. Her blood pressure is uncontrollable. She IS going to die.”
I have this very clear memory of turning around, my face scrunched up in absolute agony in the ugliest of ugly cry faces, and I slapped the counter as hard as I could as an uncontrollable wail left my throat. I cried from my gut. I cried from the bottom of my very soul. I cried from a place of pain I never wanted to know.
We made final visiting arrangements. Elders from my church made the drive to dedicate my precious baby girl. My other very young children were brought up to say goodbye. Gracie was given a dose of morphine. They say that’s to ensure there’s no pain while passing, but really it’s to suppress breathing function so death isn’t drawn out.
It was time.
They took most of her tubing and IV’s out. They wrapped her in a second diaper and then a blanket. I sat in a glider rocker next to the bed. Without warning, they pulled the vent out, picked her up, and turned around and placed her in my arms.
I rocked her with a flood of tears streaming down my face. I sang Jesus Love Me (something I sang to my children frequently when they were little). While the entire room was filled around the edges, in that moment, it was just my baby girl and I.
Three breaths. She took three breaths on her own. Then she was gone. The doctor quietly came over and kneeled next to us. He placed his stethoscope on her chest. He silently looked up to me and nodded. It was over. She was gone. I continued to rock and sing to her lifeless body in my arms…
I asked if vaccines did this. They were so quick to shut me down. “That’s impossible,” I was told. From the get-go, that didn’t sit right with me. I wasn’t even 21 years old. I was young and naive. I trusted doctors even then. It wasn’t until years later through research (hours and hours of research) that I learned that vaccines DO IN FACT LIST SIDS AS A POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECT. It’s even listed in the vaccine insert. I went from being told there’s no way this was almost SIDS to this is just SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Basically don’t ask questions.
14 years later and all I have left of my baby girl is a handful of ashes in a pretty urn.
There was no first giggle. No first “I love you, Mommy.” No first Christmas. No first birthday. There was no first day of kindergarten. No first day of middle school. No first crush. No first dance. No other first anything. Forever, Gracie is frozen in time at two months old.
This. This is why parents get to have a choice in whether or not they inject their children.
We greatly appreciate and thank Nichol and the other traumatically affected parents for coming forward with their vaccine death and injury accounts. By shedding light on the dangerous side effects of vaccination, and sharing her wisdom from this difficult situation of Gracie’s vaccine-induced passing, we hope her story encourages you to trust your gut, become an avid researcher, critically think, and be inspired to stand in your power, and raise questions.
Q&A with Nichol:
Nichol: She was given what was standard at two month’s old in WA State in 2004: DTaP, HIB IPV, HBV (Hep B), and PCV. I actually pulled out her medical record file to make sure I was accurate. She did receive the Vit K and Hep B at birth (I believe one CANNOT opt out of Vit K in Washington).
*Editor’s note: While the Vitamin K shot and Hep B vaccine is routinely done, yes, you can opt out for all shots in WA state. However, New York State has a mandatory state public health code of Vitamin K administration to newborns. In either case, questioning parents should consult with their healthcare provider, midwifery team, hospital requirements, rules, and laws, *prior* to choosing to deliver your baby, read the full package insert, assess risk/benefits for each individual situation, and make an informed decision.
Q: Do you have her shot records? Curious which brand she received of which shots and how many she received in one day.
Nichol: I have what I know to be her entire and complete medical record because I requested it shortly after she passed for a couple reasons. For one, I was being treated like a criminal when she unexpectedly passed. CPS was horrible to me and treated me as if I had hurt my baby. I wanted access to everything they were seeing. Side note to that: she had no fractures, no bruises, and not even diaper rash at her autopsy, and they never even apologized once I was cleared of abuse and neglect. For two, I KNEW even in my young heart then that something was off. There was no reason for them to tell me so certainly that it wasn’t near SIDS (while she was on life support), then turn around and say SIDS. The records list each shot in two places, but nowhere does it say what brand or any other specific vial information like lot numbers.
Q: Have you contacted Gracie’s doctor that administered the shots to tell him or her what happened?
Nichol: Her doctor was very aware. In fact, she drove from our town two hours away to the hospital Gracie was in to be with me when she passed. My memory is spotty of that time in intensive grief, but I clearly remember being brushed off when I tried to make the vaccine correlation.
Q: Was it the doctors on staff at the hospital the ones to suggest that the vaccine connection was “impossible”?
Nichol: It’s hard to say for certain, but I want to say both the hospital staff AND our family doctor refused to acknowledge it. I can’t remember which one or if both actually told me there’s no way it was the vaccines. I have a feeling it was our family doctor, but can’t say for certain.
Q: Did anyone ever give you informed consent or a vaccine info sheet or the full package insert? Or any information for you to make an informed and educated decision?
Nichol: I was possibly given an info sheet (the generic short one page sheets the clinics give out), but I don’t recall. It’s been 14 years and hard to remember. My ex-husband was the one that signed the consent form.
Q: Was a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) report filed?
Nichol: No, and this breaks my heart every single day.
Q: Was an autopsy performed? If so, what was listed as the cause of death (other than SIDS), if any?
Nichol: Yes. I have a copy of this as well. “CAUSE OF DEATH: Cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to sudden infant death syndrome versus aspiration event.” That’s a word for word quote. Also, one thing I think people don’t realize about this, it’s takes around a month or more to even get these answers. It’s not like in the movies. You don’t have any answers at all right away. It’s 4 to 6 weeks (or more for some) to even be told what doctors think. That’s several weeks of crying every night with zero reasons. That’s night after night of nightmares, and day after day of enduring an investigation because there aren’t yet any answers. After those weeks of anguish, to be given a generic, contradictory reason was infuriating.
Q: To clarify, she was also suffering from brain swelling/encephalitis?
Nichol: Cerebral edema is noted in the autopsy.
Q: Do you have any other children? And if so, are they vaccinated or not? And why/why not
Nichol: I have older children. Gracie was my youngest. My second born has had lifelong, extreme behavior issues with multiple diagnoses. After my research in the years after Gracie’s death, I not only discontinued vaccinating, but truly believe the issues with my second child are likely also vaccine injuries. I’ve always intended to look into the timing of his Hep B shot because he was normal at first, but several hours later, he began to cry and pretty much never stopped. He was the most difficult infant. He cried inconsolably often.
Q: What advice or recommendations do you have for parents, doctors/nurses?
Nichol: Don’t blindly accept anyone else’s recommendation on what to do with yourself and your children. There is a plethora of easily obtainable information out there now. There’s no reason not to do one’s own research before making a decision. You can always decide you were wrong to not vaccinate and decide to do it. You can never undo it though.
Q: What has been the most helpful resource or form of support you have received since Gracie’s passing in the research or resources that you’ve come across?
Nichol: I don’t know that I could label any one thing. I started learning when a friend sent me info. Then I joined Facebook groups and pages with information on Facebook. I started to realize that there was a lot of information available. I would take one link of info and then let it waterfall into five more pages of information. I would start in one place and just follow each reference to new pages.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share or add?
Nichol: I was so very young and didn’t have anyone going to bat for me. I wish so badly that I would have pressed the issue. I knew in my gut something was wrong after. I let them treat me like a naive child though. I wish I would have spoken up much more.
~ In loving memory of Gracie Brianna Lynne (July 24, 2004 to September 26, 2004) ~
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