Catherine Hughes and her family have been fighting for vaccine awareness since their baby Riley passed away in March 2015 from whooping cough at just 32 days old.

Catherine shared a recent post on Facebook of the ten things she want parents who don’t vaccinate their kids to know.

She included…

1. There are no cures for most of the diseases we vaccinate against.

2. Even if you choose not to vaccinate, please please please make yourselves aware of the symptoms of these potentially fatal diseases. Infections like Meningococcal can kill within 24 hours, and every minute counts.

3. If you’re really worried about vaccine “toxins”, you don’t want to see what the toxins from Bordatella Pertussis (the bacteria responsible for whooping cough) can do. Trust me – I watched my newborn son die from it.

4. If your children contract a disease like measles or whooping cough, they usually have no symptoms in the first day or two – yet they are highly contagious. Keeping them away from others when sick is often too little, too late – the disease has already spread.

5. Your children will grow up, and you will need to be prepared to explain why you chose to leave them unprotected from serious disease.

6. Vaccines are not perfect. Like condoms… there’s a failure rate. There’s a tiny chance you might have an allergic reaction. But they protect you from a hell of a lot of nasty stuff.

7. If you are worried about where to get good and unbiased information from, speak to someone who has worked in intensive care. They have seen patients with vaccine-preventable diseases. And if someone was in a serious way from a reaction to a vaccine, they would have seen those patients too. I have never met an ICU doctor/nurse who is against vaccination.

8. Be wary of those selling books, memberships, and alternatives to vaccination. They have rea$on$ for trying to convince you to not vaccinate.

9. In the time you have spent reading this, a few more children under the age of 5 have passed away from a vaccine-preventable disease somewhere in the world. These diseases are serious, they are deadly, and they are preventable.

10. It’s not too late to change your mind!

– Riley’s Mum

Well said, Catherine!

Riley’s family have previously shared the abuse they receive from antivaxxers. Read that story here.

From July, Family Tax Benefit A payments will be reduced by $28 a fortnight for each child who does not meet the immunisation requirements - read more on that here.

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  • poor catherine, that would be hard to experience what she did but she is trying to inspire others to save them from the heartbreak that she has endured.


  • All children should be vaccinated if it is at all possible. It is the herd syndrome in action. If almost all of the herd are vaccinated then the few who were unable to be done get the benefit of all those who were vaccinated. Amazing how many children were able to be vaccinated once the $28 reduction was announced.


  • This is such a terrible tragedy that didn’t need to happen. When my youngest got his first vaccination he had a bad reaction and ended up in hospital for 7 days. That didn’t stop me from trying again though. He was given it over 3 weeks and luckily there was no reaction. He received all of his vaccinations just took longer.


  • If parents refuse to vaccinate their children they should keep them away from children who are not old enough to have received all their vaccinations.
    There is currently an outbreak of Measles in parts of Sydney.
    In another area in the eastern states there is an outbreak of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.


  • Absolutely well said Catherine. You are educating us and informing us. We absolutely vaccinate, and I can’t begin to understand those who don’t when we hear stories such as yours. God bless.


  • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    I’m getting a bit tired of these vaccinate stories, I find them rather black and white.


  • I am so sorry that your child passed away, but please, don’t paint every parent who’s child isn’t vaccinated as an anti-vaxxer. There are some, like me, who attempted to vaccinate their child but their child suffered a severe allergic reaction to the shot and ended up in ICU on life support.

    This happened with each of my 3 children, my first child was perfectly healthy, from a smoke and alcohol free home, when I took her for her first vaccination; within half an hour we were rushing to a hospital where she was immediately put into ICU on life support, a week later they were able to remove her from life support but she remained in hospital for nearly a month. Then I continued to try to have her vaccinated, firstly with half doses then with quarter doses, always at the Hospital, but the last injection she had, the quarter dose, wasn’t even fully administered when she immediately went into a fit and was again needing to be on life support. It was determined she was allergic to the base/carrier part of the vaccine, and I was given documentation and a LONG list of other injections that she’d not be able to have.
    My second and third child too suffered the same reactions on their first injection, again done at a hospital; fortunately they didn’t have to endure the process of lesser doses, they too were determined to be allergic to the base/carrier part of the vaccine. I remember my mother recalling that I too had had a severe reaction to my vaccinations, although not as bad as my children’s.
    I now support parents of other children who’ve had severe allergic reactions to their immunizations, some have sustained vaccine injury.
    So please, again, don’t paint all parents with unvaccinated children as anti-vaxxers. In fact some have tried to have their children vaccinated, but the risk to their lives was too great to continue. Give some thought to the guilt they carry for inflicting vaccine injury on their children. This is a completely separate issue to the so called link with autism….this is an allergy to a base/carrier that has remained unchanged for decades, surely it’s time a new less allergy causing base/carrier can be developed???

    • Its because of kids like yours who cant be vaccinated that its so important that all the other kids are! Our immunity is what protects your children.


  • wow that was perfectly said – I am so sorry that Riley passed away because of Whooping cough – my girls are fully vaccinated and I am proud to say it – to all the anti-vaxers out there – you might think your protecting your child but in all reality you are putting your child and all their friends at risk and that is not cool


  • This woman should not have to fight this fight. She should be blissfully unaware and doing everything she can not to tear her hair out because of her toddler. All because too many people think they know better than scientific evidence.


  • So terribly sad. They are so brave campaigning to make a change after such a terrible experience.


  • Every sympathy to this family – such a sad and tragic loss. All praise to them for campaigning for vaccinations. It just makes sense to protect our precious little ones.


  • I totally agree. This family is strong to keep fighting publicly.


  • I believe vaccination to be very important.


  • anti vaxxers worry me, i don’t think there could be anything worse than losing my child to something that could be prevented


  • It is scarey to see the numbers of anti vaxxers increasing. Even scarier that parents as not vaccinating for no real reason, as the jump in vaccinations when government money was cut if you didn’t vaccinate proves


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