Mar 20, 2011 3:40pm http://www.optuszoo.com.au/news/top/perth-now/flu-shot-destroys-baby-sabas-life/321294
THIS time last year, Saba Button was a beautiful, thriving 11-month-old. She'd just taken her first three steps, and spoken her first three words. She was perfect in almost every way.
Her mum and dad, Kirsten and Mick, chose to follow the Health Department recommendation and give Saba the flu vaccination.
What they thought was a simple and responsible decision has - in the blink of an eye - destroyed the health and happiness of this very decent family.
Saba had her vaccination at lunchtime, by dinner time she was softly moaning in her cot, with a raging temperature of 40.2 degrees. Life was limping out of her.
Saba then began a desperate fight. After two days in ICU at PMH her family was called in to say goodbye. Kirsten and Mick refused to give up. So did Saba.
She survived but she's now a very different child. Saba has an acquired brain injury from prolonged seizures, it's a global injury, she is no longer able to walk or talk, or eat by mouth.
What makes this story so desperately sad is her parents believe the injury to their daughter could have been prevented.
In the days leading up to Saba's flu jab, 111 other Perth children had suffered adverse reactions.
The Health Department must have known about these terrible outcomes, but didn't issue a warning to parents.
Indeed, while Saba was in ICU clinging to life, nobody in the medical bureaucracy stepped in to stop the program.
So, this wasn't like a car accident that couldn't be avoided. This was a crash where the alarm bells had been ringing for days, if not weeks.
I'd like to know if medical practitioners armed with the knowledge of the adverse reactions were vaccinating their children? Or was it just the innocent deluded public, who trust in their health authorities?
This family's beautiful life has been destroyed. Mick and Kirsten pass in hospital corridors, tag teaming so Saba is never left alone. Their son - Cooper - has lost the tight family unit of a year ago. His sister will never be the same.
I've cried myself to sleep this week, thinking it could have been my family, it could have been yours.
Surely the health department needs to answer a few questions like, when did they know Saba could be at serious risk? Why didn't it pull the program when it was so clear it was going so horribly wrong? And, how can they assure us it will be any different this year?
* Dixie Marshall's exclusive interview with Kirsten and Mick Button on Nine News, Monday at 6pm