Mum’s horror as tot ‘dies’ twice after jab

Mar 17 2007


by Adrian Butler, Liverpool Echo


A TODDLER suffered a cardiac arrest and “died” twice just hours after having his MMR jab.

Little Bayley Wiltshire, 15 months, was so poorly doctors warned his parents he may have just two hours to live.

But, amazingly, Bayley pulled through but spent the next 11 days in intensive care.

Today, Health Protection Agency chiefs said an investigation was under way.

They insist the timing of his collapse and the MMR jab was a coincidence.

But his mother, Suzanne, 38, told the ECHO: “I can’t believe the jab had nothing to do with it. He was fine before that injection, but nearly died straight afterwards.”

She and husband Chris are demanding answers and are terrified their son could be struck down again.

Mrs Wiltshire took the toddler to Whiston health centre for the jab.

She said: “He was perfectly healthy and afterwards he seemed fine – he cried a bit, then just fell asleep in his buggy.”

But after she took him for a walk with his eight-year-old brother, his mother noticed Bayley was very quiet.

“I know he hadn’t gone to sleep because he had already slept. Then I saw his eyes – they were fixed to the spot, and I knew something wasn’t right. I tried to get him to follow my finger and he wasn’t responding at all.

“I was just saying: ‘Don’t die Bayley, don’t die’.”

Mrs Wiltshire raced back to the surgery and an ambulance took him to Whiston hospital then was escorted by police to Alder Hey.

Bayley spent the next 24 hours fighting for his life in intensive care.

During the ordeal, he had two cardiac arrests and could not breathe.

Alder Hey paediatric consultant Andrew Riordan said medics worked round the clock to keep him alive.

He added: “We did a lot of straightforward things. When his heart was not beating, he got cardiac massage. He was on a ventilator to breathe really hard for him. We gave him fluids to help his circulation, and drugs to keep his circulation going.

“For 24 hours he was very, very ill.”

Mrs Wiltshire said: “At 10pm, the consultant told us Bayley was really sick and might have two hours to live.

“He asked me if I had any other children and I was sobbing my heart out.”

Suzanne and road worker Chris had to break the news to Regan, eight, and 11-year-old Shaun that their little brother might not survive.

But thanks to expert medical care, he pulled through two hours later and spent the next 11 days recovering.

Suzanne said: “It was heartbreaking watching him. His pupils were dilated and he couldn’t even cry because of the tubes down his throat.”

A spokesman for the Health Protection Agency said: “It may not be possible to say with certainty what caused Bayley’s episode of illness but the commonest cause of illness is infection.

“We found no evidence the vaccination was the cause. We believe the timing of the illness was coincidental.”

“This has been a desperately worrying time for his parents and we fully understand their anxiety.”

Mrs Wiltshire added: “I am constantly making sure he is all right, asking myself what would have happened if I had not taken him for the jab.”

THE vaccine has sparked controversy since it was intro-duced into the UK in 1988, but most doctors believe it is safe.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are needed to give children the best protection before they go to school.

The website is aimed at helping parents make an informed decision regarding the vaccine.

There are possible side effects including fever and a measles-like rash. About one in every 1000 immunised children may have a fit. Fewer than one child in a million develops encephalitis (infection of the brain) and there is very little evidence that it is the vaccine that causes it.