The joy of welcoming a new baby in the family can’t be compared to any other feeling. So when Jeff and Natasha found out they will be parents soon, they couldn’t hide their happiness. Having that little creature in their life was everything they ever wanted. The two were looking forward to creating memories and spending days filled with laughter with the little one.
When their daughter finally arrived, they felt like the happiest people on Earth, until a devastating tragedy took place. Their daughter died just three weeks after she was born. Now all those plans for the future were crushed and replaced with lots of tears and sadness.
However, the anger of the tragic loss grew bigger once these parents were informed of the cause of death, and the fact that it could possibly have been prevented.
Besides being crushed and grieving the loss of his daughter, he knew he had to take the time to share his story with the parents-to-be in hopes of preventing any other baby to share his daughter’s faith.
In an emotional (and educational) post, Jeff said:
‘”I’ve been pretty silent since Mallory’s death. It’s taken me over a month now to write this, but if any good can come from her passing and prevent someone else from experiencing the heartache, then I would be remiss not to make an effort.
If you have a new baby, or will be around a new baby, wash your hands. A lot.
If anyone wants to hold your baby, make sure they wash their hands first. Then make them do it again…”
‘”HSV-1, most commonly known as the virus behind cold sores, is a form of herpes (Herpes Simplex Virus-1). It is EXTREMELY common, and the World Health Organization estimates that 67% of all humans on Earth are infected. To make things worse, many people who are infected will never show symptoms in their lifetime and probably don’t even know they have it. For newborns, it is more than likely fatal, as was the case for Mallory.
You might think it should have been easy to diagnose. Surely someone with an oozing cold sore kissed her on the mouth, right? Mallory was never in contact with a person who had an active cold sore. Never. Nobody ever kissed her on the mouth. In spite of that, she caught HSV-1 within her first week of life and we had to watch her die slowly for nearly 2 weeks. Mallory could not keep her hands out of her mouth and eyes and she was constantly sucking on her fingers [see picture above]], so it’s almost certain that the virus got onto her hands at some point. It is possible to be contagious even without an active cold sore.
She had no symptoms beyond a high fever for most of the first week, and by the time blisters showed up it was probably too late for the antivirals to be effective. Considering that more than half the world has the cold sore virus, we don’t understand why so few infants die from the disease or why our beautiful daughter Mallory was the unlucky statistic, but that’s the way the world works I suppose.
Please, if you’re reading this, be extra diligent about washing your hands around newborns. Statistically speaking, you’re probably infected with HSV-1 whether you know it or not.”
Please remember to always wash your hands before touching a newborn baby. This father wants to spread the word of the consequences of not doing so.
We hope Jeff and Natasha will get the chance of becoming parents soon.
Please share their story with your friends.